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.
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).
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