Saturday, December 10, 2011

Disagreeing With Punishment

What do you do when your husband deals out a punishment that you deem is totally unfair?

This topic seems to come up at least once (often more) in almost every marriage where DD is practiced. It's happened to me, and although it doesn't happen often, when it does- it can be hard to deal with.

First things first, there are about a billion wrong ways to handle the situation. There may not be a clear "right way", but I guarantee you there are a LOT of wrong ways. Things like accepting the punishment then giving your husband the cold shoulder for a week afterwards isn't going to solve anything. Either is completely lashing out, and making the situation worse.

So, should you "obey", and cooperate when your husband hands out a punishment that you don't agree with? Well, here's my take.

Do you not agree with it because...

It's unfair? If so, examine why it's unfair. The example I've seen the most of in this case is the husband will randomly create a new rule out of the blue, then punish for it. For instance, the wife is out shopping, and comes home at 7pm. The husband is irritated she was gone all day, but said nothing to her about it until she walks in the door. When she does, he tells her the new rule is she has to be home by dinner every night, and since she wasn't, she's getting punished. This then gives her no sort of warning, and she had no idea until it was too late. Is punishing fair? Probably not.

That's just one example of the "it's not fair!" reason, but the husband creating rules out of the blue is something that can happen, and often leads to these "I think the punishment is unfair" scenarios.

In this case, like in most others I'm going to discuss, it's going to be all about communication. Your husband needs to know why you feel the punishment is unfair. The tricky part here is whether to do it before the punishment (which will likely cause some sort of argument, since it can be construed as you trying to get out of the punishment) or after the punishment (which would also not be great because you just got punished for something you dont believe is fair, so your attitude towards him probably won't be the most respectful).

In this circumstance, I would recommend handling the situation before any sort of punishment is taken care of. Your husband should listen to you before hand (always, not just in these "I don't agree.." circumstances).

The punishment is something you're against? If you and your husband haven't discussed "limits" you need to do so. However, I'd recommend not doing so right after you break a rule, because then it perceives that you're just trying to get out of a punishment. For instance, if your husband believes you should be spanked with a belt and all the sudden you decide "wow, that sounds really crappy." and proclaim you're completely against being spanked with a belt, that probably isn't going to fly. So, anything you're profoundly against needs to be stated well in advance. For instance, in our marriage, I would never "submit" (not a big fan of the word, but not sure what else to call it. Cooperate, maybe?) if my husband used something like diapers as punishment, and I'm also completely against things like whips, and restraints (I have my reasons. Don't ask me why). I explained to him why, he understood, and thus, those things aren't "on the table" when punishing comes around. However, IF I were to break a rule and my husband would think spanking with a whip was necessary (for instance) we'd probably have a pretty big problem.

 In a situation where your husband attempts to dole out a punishment that you have made it known in the past you were against, I would definitely talk to him about it BEFORE the punishment takes place. Your husband should always respect your limits (and vice versa). When explaining your limits, it's important that you have some sort of valid reason behind them. They don't have to be valid to the rest of the world, but they need to be valid, and understood, between you and your spouse.

You believe it's too harsh? Your husband isn't perfect, and neither are you. Almost every husband, at some point, will think give (or, attempt to) a punishment that is too harsh. This usually happens if your husband hasn't taken time to calm down before deciding on a punishment. If he hands out a punishment while he's overly upset, chances are, it will be worse than when he's calm. Some punishments are just downright unreasonable (for example- being grounded for a year, or a 1,000 swat spanking) so if your husband is handing out punishments like that, that is a whole different issue to address. Also, if he hands out ridiculously harsh punishments on a regular basis, that's also a different issue.

But, in general, if you feel your husband overreacted in terms of punishment, I would recommend you give him some time to calm down and reevaluate the situation once his emotions are a little more in check. The best way to do that is to have some sort of rule in place (ideally prior to you breaking a rule even occurs) that says something to the effect of he won't hand out any punishments while he's angry. If that means he has to wait an hour (or, another predetermined time frame) from when the offense occured (or when he found out about it) to decide your punishment, then so be it. Or, if it just means he needs to take a few minutes to think about it, fine. But, if it's a severe offense, and it's something that really got him fired up, he needs to not make any decisions while angry AND not hand out any punishments while angry because it's not fair to either of you.

Then, once he's all calm, if you still feel the punishment is too harsh, explain to him why but be prepared to have reasons.

Keep in mind...

When disagreeing with your punishment, I feel it's important to keep the following things in mind:

1) There's a chance that your punishment will still "stand". You need to be prepared for that. If that happens, attempt to continue to communicate your feelings afterwards, rather than continually push the issue before hand.

2) Communication is key. Ideally, it should always happen BEFORE the punishment takes place.

3) You need to have reasons and "because I don't like it" isn't a valid one, by the way (at least to 99% of the HoH's out there). Before you approach your spouse about disagreeing with your punishment, be prepared to back up WHY you disagree with it.

4) It's crucially important that, while talking to your husband about this, it does NOT come across as you just trying to avoid getting in trouble, or getting out of taking responsibility. You need to take extra caution to ensure that doesn't happen.

5) Part of DD is "break a rule, deal with the consequences" so to speak. So, if you "just don't feel like" getting spanked, and decide you're going to flat out agree with it just based on those reasons, you really need to reevaluate DD. No one wants to get spanked. But, don't break the rules, don't get in trouble. It's simple (although sometimes easier said than done, I definitely understand that).

6) If you find yourself disagreeing with your punishments often, you really need to sit down with your spouse (after you identitfy why that is that you're disagreeing a lot) and talk things out. Maybe it means changing the rules, setting new limits, etc. Whatever it is, COMMUNICATE about it. Communication is definitely key.

and finally..

7) Husbands- if your wives come to you and disagree with their punishments, hear them out. Whether you end up changing your mind in the end or not is your own decision, but at least hear them out. The last thing you want is your wife to be afraid to come to you because she's afraid how you'll react.

(Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, my absolutely GORGEOUS son turned 5 MONTHS OLD today!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, he can sit up completely, 100% by himself. Just thought you all would like to know, lol).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Had this happen recently. I submitted, after he allowed me to state my case but decided to go ahead with spanking me. I was upset but didn't resent him and didn't fight him.

    I was kind of proud of myself..because I didn't cop an attitude and get a repeat..which I have done many times. Instead we talked a lot about my disagreement with it. He held to his reasons. I finally concluded that I hadn't really been innocent..I just thought it wasn't THAT bad. I was able to get over it and move on successfully.

    You wrote an excellent post on an important topic. Thanks.

  2. Nicely written Chelsea. I have had times when I felt like he made a much bigger deal out of something that I thought was small...sort of like Stormy. Afterwards and through a lot of talking, I would begin to realize that his motives go deeper and he spanks to get to the deep intent of things, not simply to deal with the surface issue. In time I have always understood that when I feel he is being a bit unfair, I need to communicate but then defer my judgement because he has so far always ended up being right and we've come out of it well when I've chosen to be humble enough to really think it through and accept responsibility.

  3. Since your husband is head of the household, you should except being corporally chastised. So grin and bare it, and I mean your bottom, and let it be spanked blushingly red.

  4. This has happened to me once before.

    We had a long discussion about the punishment but he did not see my point of view and in the end I submitted to his punishment. I hated it at the time (being spanked when I felt I shouldn't of been spanked) but he does have the final say so in a very strange way I felt pleased I had submitted.

    I think you have to talk about these things first. Just my 2 cents.

  5. Nicely said Chelsea. Of course there have been punishments that I have felt were "unfair" and if talking does not resolve it. I do submit. That falls under the "If we can't agree, he gets to decide heading" agreement we have!

    BUT, I'd just like to emphasize that as a general, trying a new implement, new technique, different punishment option in the heat of contention and without talking it through before any punishment is looming is truly NEVER a good idea. The communication has to come way before the action if a Dd couple is going to stay balanced and the wife is going to feel a valued part of the process. I think that's all part of consent, and also part of the basic respect that a husband owes his wife.


  6. Great well written post Chelsea :D

  7. This is a great post. We are just barely doing punishments so far, but it will be a great resource if we ever need it.

  8. Also, too, and this may sound un-DD like, but be sure to have a standing warning: I have already warned my husband that if certain things are ever done again, I will be documenting them. I think sometimes you need it and there does come a time when it's time to draw the line.

    My husband used a discipline I did not agree with and deeply resented. Afterward I sat down and drew up a list (kept a copy for myself) and, in writing, told him these were unacceptable. I also informed him (in writing, and kept a copy for myself) that if any of them were attempted/used, I would begin documenting them and if they worked into a certain number, I would report it to the police and seek legal action against him.

    This has worked very well. Since then, he has attempted nothing and we have an understanding. DD has not worked for us the way it was supposed to, which is fine, sometimes it just isn't the right answer. But since a rational conversation with him is not possible, I communicate via written notes in which I clearly lay out what I expect and what I will/will not tolerate, and if he doesn't comply, he knows I will seek legal protection.

    This, of course, hasn't helped other problems we have -- the comnplete lack of closeness, his complete ignoring of me, etc., but it's either be ignored and humiliated with punishments I cannot abide, or just simply be ignored. I'll take the latter in this instance.

  9. Chelsea, great post! I must say, though, the comment from mom of 6 is a little concerning to me, and I hope that it isn't as bad as it sounds...She shouldn't have to document things and threaten legal action. I hope she is reading more blogs, and realizing that an HOH does not act that way. If a rational conversation is not possible, theres no way he should be doling out punishments, bottom line. Mom of 6, if you're reading, draw the line now. That's really just not okay.

  10. Heather,

    Thanks for your support. I truly appreciate all the support I have received. I have read some others and see that normally things do not go this way. I just am tired of things happening that I cannot agree with. I have already drawn the line and he knows he is not to touch me -- for ANY reason -- right now. And yes, that includes intimacy as well. I've been putting up with a lot. I am the one who commented in the boot camp entry regarding a certain discipline he imposed upon me which I will not name because it makes me ashamed. If you are a frequent reader you will know what it is.

    This has been building up over time. That was the straw that broke my back and now I am retaliating with a vengeance. I do not want to hurt him or cause problems for him. What I do want him to understand is that (1) I am not his mother and cannot be her carbon copy; (2) if I have six small children, I cannot do everything he wants all the time 24/7; (3) if I am homeschooling, I will have even less time to do everything "just right"; (4) I am a human being who deserves to be treated with a little love and appreciation; (5) if I hear one more lecture on how inefficient I am and how the family is going from pot to worse, I will probably smash his head in -- well, not that drastic, but you get my drift; (6) he has to STOP YELLING. PERIOD. No more swearing or yelling or telling me it is all my fault; (7) when I talk to him, I do not want him to interrupt me with his Mr. Fix-It speech. (Of all of it, that is probably the most egregious because it is the most frequent. He always thinks he has to fix everything, and what I need is for him to listen to me and be there for me -- not fix it. I can and will fix it myself. Women TALK. Everyone knows that. Except him. And I have just about HAD it!)

    If he were to just focus on #7 up there to start, I would be ABSOLUTELY THRILLED! What an improvement that would be!

    So....guys reading this....take note, OK?! :-) Trust me, it WORKS!

  11. I agree with everything that has been said particularly about HOH and I have in our guide which we call our ASRT a section on "Objections & Disagreements" we have outlined all the steps that it takes for me to speak up if I feel a punishment is unfair..I have also found out how painful it can be when I don't follow our rules..all I had to do was follow the steps and I think HOH would have not punished fact he ask me why I didn't follow the rule to disagree if I felt he was being unfair...and after he read the rules that he thought I violated, he said that I would have won out on that, if only I had followed the rules instead of getting an attitude...and ya know..that really sucked...but, I was wrong..and had the sit down blues to prove it..."OUCH"...It really does help if you talk..and have a set of rules to go by...and knowing what they are before you speak out in anger also helps...!!!

  12. Mom Of 6: Do you believe that incorportating DD into your marriage is really for you? I've seen you post/comment on a few other blogs in addition to mine and although you're obviously more than welcome here, I can't help but wonder why you include DD in your marriage if you're clearly unhappy? My heart goes out to you, and I hope you can find the strength you need to recognize that it may be best you take a break from DD for awhile until you both have a more clear concept of what it is.

  13. I have been spanked a few times when I thought it was unfair, and I generally find it rather upsetting. However, it has only happened a few times in the 8 years we have been doing DD, perhaps once a year if that, and I find I can cope with that. If it was happening a lot it would be a problem, but so long as it is only very occasionallymI can cope with it.

  14. Great article. I went through this a lot when I was first married. Finally, once day after I was acting sullen because I felt I had been unfairly punished, my HoH sat me down. He said "do you think that life is always fair?" and when I said "no", he said do you think I created that situation" and I said "of course not" and he said "do you think I should be more concerned about fairness or about doing the right thing by you" and I said that I wanted him to do what he thought was best for me. He said "sometimes what is best in the long-term isn'f fair in the short-term" and sometimes HoHs spank because they are exasperated as much as they want to correct. He asked me if I trusted him and I said "yes, Sir", and he said that he could see how he thought the recent punihment seemed unfair but then we discussed ways I could express my concern better than my attitude, and he reminded me that when we got married I agreed to submit to his judgement and he had never let me down. Then after we talked it through, he informed me that I would be spanked for my sullen atI attitude following punishment. I was sad about being punished again but it helped me understand that being "fair" all the time isn't as important as the big picture. Now, when I don't agree wtih a punishment, I journal about it and if neccessary, bring it up to him in a respectful way.