Friday, August 12, 2011

How To Convince Your Spouse To Try DD- BEFORE You Talk To Your Spouse (Part 1)

I sometimes think one of the hardest aspects of domestic discipline is actually starting it. Going to your spouse with an idea such as domestic discipline that's extremely controversial, out of the norm, and life changing (because it's literally a lifestyle that both parties have to be willing to adapt) can be really tough at first..for both of you to accept.

The steps below are what I'd recommend doing before you approach your spouse about starting domestic discipline. A couple of these steps I didn't use myself (if you want to know how I went to my husband about DD, click here and here) but looking back on it, I wish I would have. Obviously this isn't some sort of fool-proof "plan" but regardless, here's my recommendations. 

1. Make sure you want this. The first thing I would recommend doing is making sure domestic discipline is something that you want in your marriage. Domestic discipline isn't really something that you can turn off and on. What I mean by that is if DD sounds like a fine and great concept to you, you go to your spouse about it, they agree to try it..and then a week later you decide it sucks and want to stop but then the next week you want it just won't work. Don't get me wrong, domestic discipline is absolutely something you can (and should) stop at any time if it's not working for you, but it's not something I'd recommend continually stopping and starting because you can't make up your mind what you want. The consistency needs to be there at all times in order for domestic discipline to be effective. So, BOTH parties need to be 100% on board and that starts with you being 100% on board before approaching your spouse. Research domestic discipline first. Ask whatever questions you have about DD to someone who already practices it. Really make sure this is a lifestyle that you want to adapt.

2. Be prepared for the "common hesitations" ahead of time. The second step I'd recommend is to understand how your spouse might react, that way you're prepared for it. Very few spouses, from the get go, are going to say "wow sounds great, lets try it" (especially if they've never heard of it before) There's going to be some hesitation, naturally. So, be prepared for that. The following list is just some feelings I've noticed from husbands, and wives, regarding their hesitations with incorporating domestic discipline into their marriage. Hopefully this will help you to understand a little more about where your spouse may be coming from.

Husband Hesitations:
  • They don't want to hurt their wives. This is extremely common, and actually a good thing (after all, who really wants to be married to someone who enjoys hurting them?). However, try explain to your husband that there are different kinds of hurt and it's the intention behind the "hurt" that matters. For example- punishment is hurt (in some situations, such as spanking) with the intent to correct, and is done lovingly (that's the key word, everyone). There's also physical hurt that is not done lovingly or with the intent to correct (example- punching someone in the face), and emotional hurt (example- saying rude things). Both of those are NOT what domestic discipline is, stands for, recommends, or exhibits. It's important that your husband understands that.
  • They don't want to see their wives cry. This goes pretty much hand in hand with the above hesitation. 
  • They don't want to be the parent to their wives. A lot of husbands feel that by creating rules/setting boundaries (and then using discipline to enforce those rules when/if they're broken) that they will lose their wife, and instead gain another child. This one is just one of those "you have to try it to experience the dynamic" things. I've never heard one couple in a DD marriage say they feel like a child, or they feel like a parent. It's a totally different dynamic you have to experience (even if it's just once) to understand.
  • They want an independent woman. I've only heard this one a couple of times, but I'd imagine there are more men out there who are thinking this. However, being disciplined doesn't mean you aren't strong, independent, or capable of making decisions for yourself. It just means that if those decisions are made poorly, you have help in fixing them before it becomes an issue in your marriage/family.
Wife Hesitations:
  • They don't want to be treated like a child. This one goes hand in hand with one of the common hesitations the husbands face when hearing about DD, which is that they don't want to feel like they are parenting their wives. The explanation for this one is the same- it's just an experience you have to try to understand the dynamic. I could try to explain it on my blog, but it probably wouldn't make a lot of sense. However, if someone wants me to, I'm willing to try.
  • They're afraid it will hurt (the spanking aspect). Well, it does hurt..I won't lie. But the pain is temporary, and what you gain from it is well worth it. 
(If anyone has anything to add to these, or anything I left out, please let me know).

3. Understand the benefits. After you've studied up on all the hesitations so you know where your spouse might stand on the topic or what fears he/she might have about it, it's important that you also understand the benefits and explain these to your spouse. There's a lot I could list, but I'll just list a few to start with.

  • It brings the two of you closer together. For someone who's never tried domestic discipline before, this might sound ridiculous (I thought the same, at first). However, the entire aspect of domestic discipline requires a lot of honesty, trust, communication, and love that, starting from the very beginning, begins to slowly bring you closer and closer together. 
  • It greatly reduces arguments. A lot of couples (who don't practice DD) argue about things such as children, money, and the list goes on and on. However, when you have DD as a part of your marriage, it reduces those arguments by giving both of you a different way to outlet your feelings. If your husband is having an issue with how much you spend, instead of yelling/arguing/etc. with you about it, he'll punish you and the issue will be resolved (or on it's way to being resolved). This gives him a feeling of "ok, she's going to really work on this now. The problem will be fixed, and I don't have to repeatedly argue with her about it" and it gives the wife a sense of "I'm forgiven, I've been punished for it, and now I can take the necessary steps to fix the problem.". It also makes her feel that her husband is with her in fixing the problem, not against her. 
  • It creates a more structured and consistent environment in your home and marriage. 
  • It improves your marriage.

So there you have it. Those 3 steps are what I'd recommend you do before you go approach your spouse with the idea of trying domestic discipline in your marriage. 

I broke this "series" into 3 parts because it's such a long and complex topic. Part 2 will be how to actually talk to your spouse about domestic discipline, and part 3 will be what to expect in the beginning stages of domestic discipline if your spouse agrees to it or how to handle it if he/she rejects the idea completely.



    1. Great post Chelsea!!

    2. I am loving your blog and waiting anxiously on part two and three of How To Convince Your Spouse To Try DD. I have actually already 'talked him into trying it', but we are still in the discussion stage. Between your blog and Clint's, we are making sure to adequately prepare ourselves to take this road, bumps and all. Thank you so much!

    3. Good job explaining everything, Chelsea! I know a lot of people will benefit from this!

      Kay :)

    4. Thank you for posting. Do you have any advice on explaining to your hubby why you need "discipline." I've mentioned all the benefits above, and although we are practicing DD, it seems that my HoH is doing so reluctantly. He keeps asking me to find an explanation from a female as to why I need to be discipline and why I can't self-regulate. So far, all the blog posts I have showing him (findingSara's explanation, Clint's response on his blog to my fiance's comments, etc) are not satisfactory to him lol. He still doesn't get it!

    5. Thank you for such an honest and enlightening post. I just found your blog after your husband linked to it and I'm looking forward to reading more.

    6. Thanks for a wonderful post. Your husband has kindly emailed me some advice on the following matter but would really like to hear opinion on the subject as we are in similiar situations. I have 2 children, the eldest being just 16 months old. He is good and sleeps in his own room all night so practising DD is straightforward but...we also have an 8 week old too who obviously sleeps in a crib next to our bed. How can we maintain this lifestyle whilst I am up during the night breastfeeding etc. I am obviously tired as I can't catch up on sleep during the day as I have the toddler to run round after. It is putting us under strain as my partner refuses to discipline me for being grumpy and the house not being spotless as he knows I have the little ones to care for and he thinks that is more important. How are you and Clint coping and have you had to alter things slightly since your bundle arrived (congratulations by the way) - Jane

    7. Jane- Congratulations on your new baby! I completely sympathize with, and understand, what you're going through in regards to lack of sleep and all that fun stuff. I only have 1 child (who's 5 weeks old) but I'm struggling with not getting a lot of sleep (and it effecting my mood/behavior in return) as well.

      I actually think your husband is right in not immediately jumping to discipline you for the house not being spotless. After all, you just had a baby! It's an unrealistic expectation after only being 8 weeks postpartum. I'm definitely struggling with keeping up with all the laundry, housework, etc. in addition to raising our son, but I think over time it will get easier (for you, and me, hopefully).

      As far as being grumpy, as strange as it sounds, discipline (in some way, shape, or form) might help you get some of the stress out. My husband told me that the other night and I thought he was completely crazy but after he punished me for my somewhat crappy attitude that I've had recently (due to stress, and lack of sleep) it really did help. Have you tried talking to your husband about it?

    8. Chelsea, yes I have tried to talk to him about it but he wants to wait until Lucas is a bit older to get back into it, so to speak. I had postnatal depression with my first son, Mark, who was born in March last year and I chose to stop taking my medication when I fell for Lucas, the PND continued throughout the pregnancy and everyone was amazed that it just stopped the moment I had Lucas. I think he is scared that by putting me under too much pressure it will come back. It is nice that he understands just how hard it is to look after a 16 month old and a newborn on my own (I have no family nearby to help) I guess we will just have to wait and see how things pan out. Hope you're getting on well with the little one x x

    9. This is my 1st ever time of commenting on anybody's blog. Quite nerve-racking in itself so apologies if I'm not coherent :) This is also the 1st time I've discovered your blog and along with others I've read, I think the comradarie and support and humour between everybody is astounding and I very much enjoy reading each persons journey into this lifestyle.
      For me (perhaps not a brilliant way but it kinda layed the foundations) I, before going any further with discussion regards D/d with my partner, had sent him an email telling him about a dream I had had. I wanted to gauge his reaction to spanking first. So naturally, my dream consisted of me getting into trouble and ending up over his knee.
      As it turned out, he didn't freak out in disgust and somehow, over the months that followed, I introduced the idea of D/d to him which he has 'accepted' very well. We both like the concepts of D/d and are slowly finding our way. It's scary to introduce something like this and the thought of being laughed at or worse is excruciating, but I think a lot of it depends on our choice of partner and I, thankfully, have chosen (probably for the 1st time in my life) the one man who I truly want to spend the rest of my life with, and we both want to give our relationship our utmost :)

    10. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this...but my hubby and I recently started *slowly* implementing DD. I say slowly because it's a major dynamic shift for us, and, as I'm studying for the bar, he recognizes that I'm going to be a little out of the ordinary in general for at least one more month.
      So we have written a list of rules, only a couple of which he routinely enforces (the big calling, for instance). I know this is going to be a slow process...and oh, man, I am NOT a fan of the spanking aspect--even though I know he's being really lenient with it. But yet I find myself TRYING to get into trouble. For example, name calling (other than in jest, like, "You brat" for eating the last of the chocolate ice cream) is one of his pet peeves. But he REALLY hates being called a bastard (yes, understandable, completely). But I have a girlfriend who uses it casually, and it rubs off, so it slips from time to time. I don't mean harm, but it just really upsets him. Lately, however, I've let it "slip" more than once, JUST to get his tail feathers in a twist and see if he'll actually spank me.
      I don't get it. Maybe it's normal to test the waters? Maybe it's bar prep, maybe I'm just being inexcusably bratty. I don't know. I'm wondering if anyone else has done the same thing?

      PS--Thank God for your site (and your husband's)--they've been AMAZING for my husband and I, since we don't have any DD friends (well, that we know of at least LOL)