Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cultivating Submission post four: Building the Bedrock of Trust

Hello, readers! So, I said there would be four weeks of challenges in July. It's the weekend, so maybe technically I squeaked in? Doesn't Monday count as the "official" start to August? Lol! Couldn't get out of my own way to get this posted this week, but I do hope you enjoy this last and final installment in the Cultivating Submission series. Other posts in this series focus on embracing humility, bedroom submission, and building him up with the spoken word. 

Today, the focus is on building trust. 

Before continuing, if you haven't already, I strongly urge you to read this post, a cautionary post urging you to think long and hard before you consent to a d/s lifestyle to begin with.

There really are no hard and fast rules as to how to “do” any of this, really. Different dynamics are going to ebb and flow based on so, so many variables. What I've tried to do here is take a look at the relationships I know, share from my own experience, and come up with some basic, accessible ways just about anyone who wants to embrace submission can cultivate his or her own role. 

As I've explained before, we're operating under the assumption here that either you've decided to accept the leadership and authority of someone who is worthy of your respect, and who can handle the important responsibility of guiding you, or, if you're seeking this dynamic, you will choose someone who is worthy of the role of Dominant. 

If you've read the other posts, you will see that really, all the posts focus on some version of cultivating trust, and they really do all build on one another. If you're embracing humility, it follows that you trust your Dominant Partner to administer criticism honestly. If you're giving yourself freely sexually, again, it follows that you trust that vulnerable area of your life to your Dominant. If you're seeking to build him up verbally ,the idea is that he is someone who can make good decisions, and lead you, and perhaps your family, well. 

One of the reasons many seek this dynamic is because they yearn for the intimacy and peace such a relationship affords. It's absolutely true, and I can attest to this. In a working D/S dynamic, the intimacy and peace is unparalleled. However, one of the most fundamental reasons this dynamic does create intimacy and peace is because trust is at the foundation. 

If we've already covered trusting your Dominant's decisions, accepting his criticism, humbling yourself when it comes to intimacy, and the many other things we've discussed as spin-offs of these main points, what else is there left to focus on, then? How else can one cultivate submission by focusing on a deeper level of trust? 

It's really very simple. But simple does not mean it's easy. It's simple to diet and exercise to lose weight. That is not always easy. My favorite personal trainer says this one line that has stuck with me, and it applies perfectly to what we're discussing here: “Don't be discouraged just because it's challenging. It's when you challenge yourself that you achieve what you never thought possible, and that's where real growth comes in.” 

With that in mind, let's look at some ways we can challenge ourselves this week to focus on building the level of trust in our relationships.

Trust your emotions.

I once began to draft a post I entitled “The Most Difficult Thing He's Ever Asked Me to Do.” I couldn't quite get the words to convey how I felt, though, and perhaps it fits better as part of the whole in this post here. 

What is the hardest thing he's ever asked me to do? In our dynamic, I'm not allowed to hide anything from Jason. He expects me to be scrupulously honest, even when I don't want to be – especially when I don't want to be. Now, on the surface, this seems pretty easy. Don't lie, right? But no, it goes much deeper than that. I'm not allowed to hide my emotions, or feelings. And he's serious about this. I have certainly been punished because I hid my emotions from him and it came to light later that I didn't tell him I was overwhelmed, or angry, or hurt, or sad. 

 It takes a great deal of time to learn to be transparent with one's emotions and feelings and some find it harder than others. One of the reasons I used to fail at this quiet often, is because I really wasn't sure what I was feeling or how to express that to him.

What to do if you don't know how you feel, or why? Talk to a friend. Journal. Sometimes just the process of writing down how you feel gets out what's hidden deep, the real reason, and helps us understand better why we feel the way we do. And once you know, challenge yourself to be transparent. Don't hide from him. 

He can't lead you properly if he's only getting a partial picture. 

Personally,  find this so difficult because I still often fight my inner censor that tells me things like, “You should be able to handle this on your own,” “you're making too big a deal of this,” or “he doesn't really want to hear every single little detail,” and it goes on and on and on. “Do I have to do this again?” “I'm so needy and I don't want to be needy.” I can talk myself right into oblivion! But because we have the rule in place, I'm not allowed to. So off I go to Jason. And despite my internal misgivings, he never dismisses my thoughts or feelings. 

Many Dominants, at least initially, may be overwhelmed. Taking on the authority and leadership of another is a truly mammoth task. This is why it's our jobs as submissives to build them up, encourage them, and thank them, because it's not as easy as it seems. And at least initially, it may seem  that your Dominant really does not want to know every little thing that's going on in your mind. What to do then? 

Try journalling. Maybe write him a letter, as sometimes we communicate better in the written word than verbally. But don't hide from him. At first, instead of pouring out anything and everything to him, bring to him the most important things you feel. When you speak to him, be as blunt as you possibly can. Jason loves to talk to me, and we do talk at length regularly, but when it comes to feelings and emotions, he wants the Cliff's Notes versions. 

The more he sees, the more he knows, the better he is able to lead.

Trust his decisions.

This one is easier said than done, and has come up in other recent posts. I find this particularly challenging with parenting, but it's important that in our dynamic (although I know this isn't the case across the board) I trust Jason to make good parenting decisions. In many ways, fathers are sterner than mothers, and Jason is no exception. He is a good, fair, and devoted father, but he can have very high expectations. I have to trust he's able to parent our kids, and together, we make a good team. But it's not always been easy at all. 

Trusting him with decisions also involves financial decisions. And please ask yourself, If you can't trust your dominant partner to make sound financial decisions, can you really trust him to be the one in authority? But perhaps it's something you're working on together. Maybe you're both learning to make more sound financial decisions. 

Trusting him to make decisions doesn't mean you have no opinion. Submissives are not synonymous with “doormat.” Do have a say, just state your opinions respectfully. Be honest with how you feel. But if you disagree with his decision, try to accept it. 

Does this mean he never makes a mistake? No, it doesn't. He will. Jason has. Dominants are human beings, not mini gods. But if we are to learn how to be submissive, it naturally follows that a Dominant needs to learn how to lead. Isn't part of the learning experience making mistakes? Learning how to embrace one's role as leader means that mistakes will be made, and when he does make a mistake, forgive, and move on. 

Trust your weaknesses to him. 

If part of what you desire from a D/S dynamic is for you to grow and mature, it's important that you're being honest about your shortcomings and character flaws. We all have areas we need to improve upon. Try not to hide your flaws from your Dominant partner. Just yesterday, Jason and I had an issue of honesty come up. I would never lie to him. But I did neglect to mention the truth to him, which, he pointed out calmly to me (before he spanked me good), was not being honest, and if I trust him to lead me, I must bring myself to him as I am, no reservations, warts and all. 

Maybe there are areas you'd like to improve upon? Consider telling him about these things. Maybe you hate that your kitchen is never really fully tidy. That you haven't been sticking to your diet. That certain situations anger you, and you find that you respond childishly. Tell him. It's important to do this for two reasons: first, because a good Dominant will help hold you to high standards, raise the bar, so you achieve your highest potential. But second, the flip side, because a good Dominant also makes sure you aren't unnecessarily critical with yourself and will often make sure you are not overwhelming yourself.

Doms frequently don't allow self-deprecating remarks or “the poor me's” to set in. A few months ago, I got some devastating news about a family member. I was so broken up about it, when Jason came home from work, I was a full-blown mess, and I blamed myself for not having been more proactive when given the chance. It was not my fault. I know that now. But in my state of emotional overload, my immediate reaction was to blame myself and really beat myself up. He listened, he held my hand, and he told me, “This isn't your fault.” I kept going on about it and he said, very calmly but very firmly, “I don't want to hear another word about you blaming yourself. I would really hate to have to punish you right now, but this is an issue of obedience, and I'm telling you right now, I will not hesitate if you say one more word.” I stopped. I've been trained to obey him immediately, and I do, and it was really only my commitment to obey him (and yes, fear of punishment), that caused me to stop. Then I was able to calm down. 

This is the give and take in a Dominant/Submissive Dynamic. This is why it's so very important that we bring our weaknesses and failings to light. It is only when they know what our weaknesses and failures are that they can help us. 

And finally, the last part of the challenge I offer for you today is so very simple. But again, sometimes, simple is best.

Simply say the words “I trust you.” 

When he gives you a rule, or makes a decision, or gives you his opinion... say those words. 

“I trust you.” 

And as you build your dynamic, and work on cultivating your own submission, embrace the vulnerability and transparency. As you grow closer and increase your intimacy, may you find that you've established, as we have, a relationship built on a foundation of trust unlike any other. 

Thank you for joining me in this challenge, readers. Next week, I plan on delving back a bit into our personal day-to-day and offering a bit of a glimpse into our dynamic. I appreciate the support this series has gotten, and I wish you continued success as you challenge yourself to cultivate your submission. 

Two quick notes: 
It's come to my attention there is another blog challenge going on at the same time! Not having read what the details of the other challenge is, I hope what I've offered here dovetails and doesn't detract or step on toes. 

Secondly, some of you have asked if you can repost things I've written. Please do, I just ask you give credit here. Thanks. :)

7 comments:

  1. Great Article! You set a high standard! The thought of my wife bringing me all her thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and me not getting sucked into them is daunting!

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    1. Thank you. Honestly, I think Jason is the one who sets a high standard. He is the one that demands I bring all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions to him.

      I think it's a difficult thing to do, but if a couple can learn to do it, it leaves nothing left unsaid, and open communication is where growth fosters.

      Jason says that it is easier for some to listen without being dragged down or sucked in, than it is for others. It may not be possible for you to listen thoroughly without being dragged in yourself. It could be, though, that you may benefit from more openness in some levels. Jason also finds that when he takes the time to listen and meet my needs, it's usually a simpler job than he thinks! lol

      This is one of those things that is fairly personal, and each couple will have to find what works for them personally.

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  2. J Girl

    Loved the post. You are a very wise woman. Also I'm very impressed with your husband.
    I was just thinking of our last conversation about men. I watched "Victory at Sea"
    a few days ago(the condensed version). It made me think again of all who have given their lives in service of their country. Including the women. I am a veteren myself.
    In my opinion it was the best war documentary ever made. If Jason likes those kind of things, it can be ordered on line for only about 7 dollars.

    I agree that trust is so very very important in a marriage. My dad's second wife did not trust him and so much of their marriage was rocky. But sometimes he was a bonehead and brought it on himself.

    It's funny you picked this as a topic this week. Especailly the part about a family member. I had to paddle my wife's bare bottom a few days ago because she
    had a family issue and did not want to share it with me as she did not want to burden me. Result? She was crabby to everyone for at least a week. I finally got her to tell me what was wrong and she did. I was mad. I thought she knew that being an HOH part of my job is to support all the family members.
    The next day after the paddling I felt like a louse. She did have my best interest at heart. I brought her flowers that night.
    I should have been more attuned and confronted the situation earlier. Those long phone calls at night.
    Anyway it looks like the problem has been resolved.
    With two daughters and a wife you learn to be good at calming things down and listening. I remember one day I heard yelling in the driveway as I got out of my car. Yes, the driveway.
    I sat there for a while before going in. I had had a hard day at work.

    I'm curious about the title of you blog. Were you like a shrew at one time?

    Well, thanks for listening. It's too bad I can't e-mail you because I wrote some spanking stories on another website a few years ago. It has been shut down for a while. I condensed them and I think you would like them

    Anyway, thanks for listening again

    Ray

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    1. Thank you, Ray, for your kind words. Jason is, indeed, a really amazing husband.

      He may enjoy the documentary. He certainly has more interest in those things than I do lol. I will mention it to him.

      I think your example here is a perfect example of why it's important for transparency in marriage, at least in whatever capacity works for one couple. We women intuitively want to hold back what burdens us, for a variety of reasons. First, as you've said, we don't want to burden the ones we love, so we have a tendency to take on more than we can handle. Second, there have sometimes been instances in the past where we did communicate, and we were shut down or not heard. That makes us want to retreat, and it's hard to go back there and risk being hurt again.

      For what it's worth, I'd have been paddled for not telling Jason what was on my mind, (and for being crabby), but I think it's good you bought her flowers and sought to make amends for the breach in your relationship.

      If I could make a gentle suggestion, just something that works for us, it's that you set aside a small amount of time regularly to ask her if there is anything bothering her. Jason does this several times a day with me, but that is a high level not many are able to stick with because of job committments and the like. But you may be surprised how asking her if there's anything on her mind, even when she is not troubled, pleases her because she feels understood and cared for. Making this a habit also ensures that in the busyness of everyday life, she doesn't neglect to tell you something vital, either intentionally or unintentionally.

      It is too bad I can't write personally, though I do understand Jason's reading. Well done on your writing! :)

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    2. Oh, regarding the title of this blog. I certainly used to have some shrewish ways, though we've always had a very good marriage. I have a literary background and thought it would be fun to tie that in. ;)

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  3. Everything you right is so helpful and I relate to everything. One of our struggles is with parenting. We parent differently. This weekend I had enough of a certain issue with my kids and finally came to the realization what I'm doing isn't working long term! I just gave in and had my husband deal with like I should have all along. He was even kind enough to not say I told you so lol.

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    1. I think it's a very common struggle, as mothering and fathering are really two very different methods of parenting lol!! It's the beauty of a working give and take, though, as children benefit from the difference in mothering and fathering, as well as a strong united front. We have a large family here, ranging in age from pre-school to pre-teens, and I can honestly say from personal experience that following his lead has been very beneficial to our family. I do have a say, and he does sometimes concede, but we don't argue about parenting anymore (we used to) and really, our children are better off for it.

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