My husband had the idea to do this post together, which I thought was a great idea. So, over on his blog right now, he has up how to approach others about domestic discipline (from the man's point of view). It's worth reading as well. :)
I often feel like domestic discipline is a world that's hidden. Many people have aliases, and many people are extremely private about the fact that they practice. That's fine, and I understand that. However, as hard as it might be sometimes, it isn't necessarily an awful, horrible, scary thing for people (not everyone..) to know that you practice, right? Obviously I'm not talking about just walking up to your brother completely out of the blue and being like "hey, I practice domestic discipline. Cool, huh?". But, if the topic ever arises or if you see a marriage or relationship that you feel like could use domestic discipline to improve it, why not share?
I've been in this situation a few times and each of those times I have to mentally convince myself that it's the right thing to do..to help someone elses marriage. However, I still chicken out because of the fear that they will TOTALLY flip out on me. Still, in the many years I've been doing this, I have never had that happen. So that always gives me a vote of confidence. I think you'll find that, as scary as it might be in your head, there's a way that this can be done tactfully and respectfully to where it isn't all that bad.
This situation tends to most often come up for me in hair salons for some reason, although it could be somewhere different for you. But I swear, almost every time I get my hair done there's always a group of women sitting around talking, complaining, etc. about something in their marriage. I don't think DD is the "do all, solve all, fix all" so don't get me wrong. However, I definitely think that, if done correctly, there are areas of your marriage that it can improve. So, how do you go about bringing it up to someone? Below are my suggestions.
- Make sure this person can truly benefit from it. This is step one for a reason..it's one of the most important steps. It's crucial to realize that DD is not the solution to every marital problem out there. For instance, if a friend of yours is discussing how her husband recently had an affair or something to that magnitude, domestic discipline probably isn't for them at that point. That's just one example of many. But the bottom line is to think about the issues that domestic discipline helps you with in your marriage. Whether it's procrastination, weight loss, attitude and respect, or something totally different..evaluate what helps you in your marriage and then ask yourself "do I think domestic discipline would help __"
- Know the right way to bring it up. This is the hardest part. It's one of those "way easier said than done" moments, definitely. I've found that the easiest thing to do is just jump right out and say "I'm really sorry you're struggling with ___" and then after a few minutes of talking, just come right out with "have you ever heard of domestic discipline". I know it sounds a little crazy. I get that. But with the experience I've had, it's always turned out ok in the end.
- Be prepared to explain. This is one of those topics that is going to take a little bit more than just a quick 5 minute walk through. So, make sure you have the time to explain it, the patience for all the questions you will most likely get, and the resources and tools to be able to answer them. The most common questions are ones like "how do you totally not feel like you're a child?" "are you sure that isn't abuse?" and a few others like it. So, be prepared to answer those questions (and more).
- It helps if you share personal experiences. Talking about your personal experiences with domestic discipline can either be super easy or ridiculously hard for people, depending on who you are, who you're talking to, and your personality type. Whether you share hours worth of stories, details, and personal messages or just a brief overlook, it will help the person you are sharing domestic discipline with to not feel like this is SUCH an "out there" concept that there's no way that they can ever wrap their minds around it. It will help them to relate.
- Leave them with information, and the ability to research themselves. Just make sure that you explain that there are many many many variations of domestic discipline. You want to caution them that just googling the general term of "domestic discipline" may leave them with search results of a different form of domestic discipline than what you just recommended to them. Not only could this totally scare them, but also confuse them. So, make sure you explain there are different variations.
- Give them the tools they need to discuss this with their spouse. Domestic discipline isn't a one-sided or one-person decision type of a thing. Often times, as many of you may already have experienced, the hardest thing about domestic discipline is bringing it up to your spouse. That part, alone, keeps many who may want to join the lifestyle, away from it because they are just too nervous to bring it up with their husband or wife. I've written a series on my blog about how to talk to your spouse about domestic discipline, and there are many variations of that same topic elsewhere in "blog land" if you search around.
- Explain the benefits, but also the negatives. Domestic discipline isn't all rainbows and unicorns, despite what we may wish. There are negatives that should be shared along side all of the benefits. I recommend you paint the whole and real picture of what domestic discipline is and how it works in a marriage (whether that's your marriage, or a marriage in general) and not just the great parts of it. It's important to explain all sides.
- Encourage a trial period, if nothing else. I feel like I'm constantly repeating this, but that's because it's so true- a trial period really does work. I think domestic discipline is one of those "you have to actually experience it to believe it" sort of things, and that's what a trial period can accomplish. For a lot of people, the thought of practicing domestic discipline initially for only a few weeks is less scary than forever.
So, why would you want to do this?
- It's nice to share. That may sound stupid, but it's true. If domestic discipline works in your marriage, why not share that with a friend (or anyone else)? Help them out too.
- Support. It's always great to have "online friends" who practice domestic discipline to go to for support, advice, etc. But, it's even better to have friends that you have known for many, many years already to be able to discuss this topic with. It isn't just about you supporting them with their new DD journey, it's also about them being a resource that you can go to for support as well.
I completely understand that it could be scary for some at first because you don't want people to look at you any differently. It's one thing to have a blog, "online friends", and more but it's another thing to sit face to face with someone you've known for ages and explain that you practice this. I felt those same emotions as I explained domestic discipline to my family, and some of my closest friends. However, I also felt a giant sense of relief. I love the fact that the majority of my best friends practice domestic discipline and even if they DON'T practice it, it's nice to know that I don't have to keep it totally hidden and that they are there for me if I need someone. The benefits outweigh the pros here, trust me folks.
On a side note, I want to thank everyone for the support that I've received via comments, emails, text messages, phone calls, and more regarding my last blog post. It was a personal one, and one that had nothing to do with domestic discipline, but that's one of the nice things about a blog- it allows me to vent and get my thoughts out. I greatly appreciated the support that I received from everyone. It means a lot, and I wouldn't be able to get through this without everyones support. Thank you.