RESPECT CHALLENGE WRAP UP
Dear readers, I stated that I was going to do this 30 day respect challenge, and I blogged the first week here, and the second here. By the third week, I was starting to feel that things weren’t really what I needed right now, so after I read through the daily challenges for every single day (you can do that here if you’re interested), I decided one more week would do it for me. I was going to pick the seven that I found most applicable/needed in my dynamic with Jason. I didn’t really see the point in pushing myself through something that wasn’t terribly beneficial (I already dress to please him, I already keep our home tidy, etc). I definitely *do * need to improve in some areas, and I’m not perfect. I just found that some of the challenge focuses fit better than others.
These are the challenges I chose for my final week of focus.
Day 14—Cherish Togetherness
This was a challenge that landed on a Sunday, and it was exactly what I needed. I like to work my way toward having systems and habits that help me meet my goals and focus on what is important to me without having to overthink too much. That’s why on Sunday, I don’t work, but I do blog (except when things come up, as they did the past few weeks), and I like to focus on spending time with my family.
With a large family like ours, though, it can sometimes be hard to find time with Jason. This day, I focused on it very well. To be honest, I did not focus on this well the following days, as the urgency of the moment and our calendar was filled to bursting, so it’s a good reminder that I’ll need over and over. J
Day 16—Resist the Urge to Correct
Jason hates when I correct him, and it’s hard for me to find that balance between honesty and nagging. We hit a patch at this point where I did need to tell him something that was bothering me. I honestly didn’t know how to do it in a way that he’d find acceptable, but I also felt clamming up wasn’t the right thing to do. I think it’s a challenge for me as a submissive sometimes. When is it best to let things go, and when is it best to tell him how I feel? I’m not allowed to hold my feelings back, but at the same time, does every little thought that flits through my mind, especially one that’s negative or critical, need to be shared?
This is why I think frequent communication is every bit as important as open communication.
Day 20—Take His Advice
I call Jason my business manager, and it’s absolutely true. It’s tricky, because he’s not a romance writer. He doesn’t read my books. He doesn’t know the market. I, on the other hand, live and breathe romance. I interact daily with my romance writing friends, work on a book in some capacity every single level, and read constantly. I also do market and business research study on a regular basis. So Jason and I relate on the business level, but not always on the romance level. That said, the man is brilliant. He’s observed. He knows which of my books has sold like hot cakes, and which hasn’t. He’s watched how I’ve launched, and he has quite a bit of opinions on the matter. It’s hard for me to take his advice on this sometimes, because I want to tell him “I know a lot more about romance than you do!” However, I respect him. I love him. He’s brilliant, and he’s in this to help me succeed. So I will, of course, take everything he says to heart.
On this day of the challenge, I got a draft of a cover for my upcoming fall release. He took one look at it and said, “No way. Uh uh. You have to change x, y, and z.” I was a bit taken aback as I thought it was a good cover, but when I took his opinion into account, I realized he had a very good one. And honestly? I made those changes and I was much happier with the result.
So I was sorta proud of myself on this one!
Day 22—Guard His Reputation
This is a non-issue on the blog, for the most part, as I feel I maybe sing his praises to a fault! In real life, though, I sometimes get upset and have the tendency to want to complain to someone – my friend, my sister, his mom, whatever. Sometimes I do this. I never, ever am happy I did. Sure, I need to chat with a friend for advice sometimes, and I do that without regret. But bashing him to anyone always makes me feel sick inside. I like this challenge focus, and have to admit, I failed this one. I got super mad at him over something and ranted. I could have handled it far better. I decided it was best to fess up to him, though, so I did. Going forward, I like this challenge and will keep it at the forefront of my mind.
Okay, you guys. Jason is a gamer. I have no understanding of the appeal of spending hours in virtual worlds. I just don’t. And for years, I nagged and ranted and hated that he would spend what I thought was a crazy amount of time on a totally useless endeavor. I felt neglected and hurt that he’d choose gaming over spending time with me. I got spanked because I’d have a fit if he spent “too much time” on his gaming.
I had to change that. He did, too. After years of working on this, I finally accepted the fact that my husband is a hardworking man, father of many, dedicated manager at work, and my Dom! Maybe he needed something mindless, or something he could lose himself in, like I lose myself in my books. I let that go. But I had communicated to him that I sometimes resented his gaming. He, in turn, cut back on it, and would tell me when he was planning on gaming so I could let it go. This helped a way lot.
I still struggle, though. The amount of his stress directly affects the amount of down time he needs, and I don’t always like that. On this day of the challenge, I was angry with him for (in my opinion) spending too much time on “the damn xbox” (it’s what I call it in my head lol). I took a deep breath, and forgave it. I let it go. He doesn’t expect perfection from me. So why would I expect it from him?
Day 26—Foster Respect in Your Children
This one was pretty easy. Jason likes me to back him up. I think one of the biggest challenges we face as a Dom/sub couple is that Jason likes to be the one to have the final say when it comes to our children. At first, I struggled with this, but I finally came to the realization that I wouldn’t have married the man with the intent of raising a family together if I didn’t trust him, and we didn’t have the same values. We’d never raised toddlers, or dealt with angsty pre-teens, or raised teens. We have now. Much of this was trial and error, and we had to talk a lot of things out. He always listens to me, but I give him the final say.
So for us, fostering respect means that our kids know Jason is the leader of the house and that I obey him, but they need to respect him to. Yes, I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but it does here. So I back him up when it comes to matters of respect or discipline. It isn’t always easy, as sometimes my mama bear comes rearing its ugly head! And he isn’t always right. But again, we aren’t striving for perfection here. I’d much rather my kids love and respect their daddy than not, so I work hard at building that respect.
This particular challenge day, we had an issue at the dinner table, and I was able to focus myself on teaching the kids to respect Jason with a reminder to do what daddy says. ;)
I honest to God could have holes in my tongue sometimes. It helps that he expects me to be obedient to him! So I’ve learned not to snap at him or to sass him. On this particular challenge day, I wanted to snap at him about something so badly. We were both exhausted and both at the end of our ropes. He said something ridiculous and I wanted to really let him know what I felt. But I recognized that we were both exhausted and overwrought, and I clearly said to him, “We are both tired. We are both barely functional. Why don’t we get some sleep and deal more rationally in the morning?” He agreed, and the next day, we both actually laughed about this. Biting the tongue for the win! Haha
I believe in honest and open communication, but I also believe that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.
So that wraps up this respect challenge, folks. As you can tell from my posts lately, Jason and I are sooo busy, far busier than we prefer being. This morning, in precisely seven minutes, we are going to talk about our schedules, come up with a plan, and get a good ol’ reset. It’s very hard to focus on our roles when we are both emotionally tapped out, and it’s been a struggle here lately because of that. More on that this Sunday, in this Sunday’s upcoming blog post. See you then!
(P.S. please forgive the weird layout to this -- I have a new laptop and I'm not sure what I'm doing yet. I'll try to figure it out by next week!)