In the past month, I’ve had a conviction laid on my heart so strongly, about the issue of weakness. It has popped up multiple times via Facebook, Blogs, Bible Studies, and in real life. I know I left a response on someone’s blog recently, which made me think it’s time to start examining it in my own life. Just wish I could recapture those thought that flowed so easily!
From Rick Warren:
Vulnerability is risky. It can be scary to lower your defenses and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth the risk! Vulnerability is emotionally liberating. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom.
Amen to that fear. But Amen also to the fact that vulnerability is emotionally liberating… and a first step to freedom. Freedom from hiding behind the strong girl so many of us grew up to believe was the “right” way to act.
I grew up with a Dad who acted “strong,” so strong that he basically just shut everyone out who he should have opened his arms to. To this day he still does it, and sadly he is the loneliest, most pathetic old man… he pushes everyone away, bullies everyone in his bid to be “strong,” and then wonders why no one wants to be around him. As a kid, it was unacceptable to be weak, to cry, to be vulnerable, to have an emotion, or speak your fears. And to an extent, “in real life,” and especially in a career, Dad was right. I had to broker the feminine mystique with a strong character that could stand up to men who thought they could conquer anything in a skirt and heels, with the “tact… to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” I had to hold my own, wait until I got into the ladies room or my car to have a good cry, and then come back again the next day even stronger, and haul ass while smiling and remaining true to my feminine side.
It took a strong, strong man in Sir Knight to see through me, and to be willing to take me on, masks and all. I am still amazed when I think about it. Granted, I had dated men with whom it was probably a good idea to keep up my defenses, and who nonetheless rejected me. Hence my putting on the strong mask even with the ones who loved me. Sir Knight not only took me on, he did so without knowing if or when I’d ever shed that mask. I marvel at that faith.
To my girl Angel, I reflected on this: Clearing away all of the masks and subterfuges is very hard and very painful, I know. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s hard to morph from work to home and shed the shields. I’m still going through it myself. The key thing I’m learning are the words that used to be heresy in my little control world, “I am sorry; I was wrong; I made a mistake; I can’t do this all by myself; please help me/guide me on how to do this better! Thank you, Sir, for being so strong for both of us.” and the hardest, “You were right.”
If I never acknowledge my humanness and my flaws, if I never own my weaknesses, then how am I going to learn from them? Continuing to wallow in my mistakes and weaknesses, while building a wall around myself doesn’t seem very productive or healthy. My fears have prevented me from being teachable or humble– or even approachable.
In the words of the incomparable Ms. Beth Moore:
If your past is like mine, think of all we’ve done to blow it–all the harm we’ve brought on ourselves through foolish decisions, all the derailments, and all the times He’s had to put us together again. Maybe, like me, you’ve felt shamed by the long list of repairs you’ve required, and your prayer life often amounts to one long apology. Maybe you feel like God prepared something for you and placed it in your hands, then you dropped it. The spilling doesn’t have to end your story. God can do something far more personal than repair your calling. He can repair you. God mends our pasts to tend to our futures.
Every time we’ve been broken and then allowed God to repair us, that mending becomes part of our equipping. All the pain we’ve endured. All the abuse and misuse. Every betrayal. Every wound. Where God mends, He equips. We embrace a hurting woman with far greater empathy because we’ve been one. We’re equipped to minister to her precisely because God has sewn up our similar wounds. God can repurpose every shred of havoc the Devil wreaks.
(highlights are mine from my study guide)
Scripture that has popped out to me:
He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and the oppressed. Proverbs 3:34
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. James 4:6
All of this has me questioning what God might be preparing me, repairing me, and equipping me to do with my “life story,” indeed, for all of our life stories. A precious young woman who recently has followed my blog and who finds inspiration in my stories (I’m inspired by hers) was like a messenger from God the other day, when she told me I have a ministry, and I am being a “Titus 2″ woman– who encourages and “teaches” the younger women. This brought tears to my eyes that a relative stranger would say to me what I’d always aspired to, but thought I was too damaged to be.
The greatest flaw of the church on earth is that people judge (often harshly), and no one seems to get that we ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God– and who better to witness to mending and salvation than a saved sinner in spades? One who has “a past,” and who struggles day to day while trying to live as a wife in submission, a flawed but sincere Proverbs 31 wife? A woman who loves crazy, kinky, wild sex with her husband and isn’t afraid to talk about this gift from God? My story may bring scorn from some (oh, I see their faces so vividly now)… but does God want me to be weak so He can be strong through me?
My weakness is something I’m learning to see as a gift from God, not only in fueling my surrender and submission towards my husband, but perhaps equipping me to serve in some way to reach out to women who may feel their “prayer life often amounts to one long apology.” I’m praying a lot about this recently. Perhaps I can do most good by staying anonymous as I have;
But there’s a part of me that wants to open up to the world and take the mask off.
I love Sir Knight soooo much, and sometimes I know I don’t deserve him.
I don’t exactly know why, but yesterday I was sort of bleh– not very energetic (I want to blame it on very high allergens), and not very appreciative of my many blessings such as: a wonderful Sir who suggests we have a nice lunch out, do some leisurely errands (on a magnificent top-down day!), and then let’s not forget to get cash to pay the cleaning lady tomorrow… I was a little bit thoughtful about Elle’s recent post on being pursued, I had discussed this conundrum with him, about how the sub pledge to ALWAYS be available to him, can have a negative affect on feeling pursued (I mean, why pursue something you know is always there for you? Is there any fun in that)?
There was a little sigh on his part, a quip of “which do you want?”
“I want to always submit to you; but there’s fun in the struggle, the chase, the resistance, the pursuit, the conquest…”
“The rape fantasy,” he says sagely, with a trace of– was it derision? in his voice.
“No…” I begin to protest. But yea, he’s right in a way. I want to be TAKEN by him.
Hard to explain, but I did once again effusively compliment him on the very expert hand-tying last week, which left me weak at the knees with his confidence and Dom-li-ness, and still shivering at the memory. I think he smiled.
He took me to have coffee in the evening, and I know I was being bratty because all they had were horribly fatty desserts and I didn’t feel there were options for me, so I sulked over my mediocre coffee as if it was his fault. I hate myself so much when I do crap like that. He’d rented a movie he thought I’d like because it was set in Greece (a country with which I have a huge love affair); it turned out to be a mystery-suspense and I’m the hide-my-eyes type of gal who does not appreciate being on the edge of her seat… and I sorta complained about that. By the time he asked if I’d come cuddle in bed (wishing he’d just TELL me it’s time for that…) I knew I’d had a pretty bratty day, and instead of being able to articulate it as I’m doing now, and apologize, I just told him I really, really needed some spanks. He gave a few half-hearted ones under the covers, took “inventory/inspection” as we cuddled, and that always settles me when he claims what’s his.
“Today, you and I are going to go out to have breakfast; I have a couple errands I want to run; and we’re going to the park for a long walk. Then later today, there is going to be a time with blindfold, restraints, flogger and maybe the paddle…” as he tenderly kissed me and informed me of our schedule, I was squirming under the covers with delight, and a silly grin was plastered on my sleepy face.
“What do you think of that?” he asks. Grrrr. tackle down that horrible, shrewish woman that just wished he hadn’t “asked” but rather just “told.”
“Yes, PLEASE, Sir!” I mewled, as he smiled.
“So, will you be thinking about that all day?”
“Oh yes,” I sighed as I stretched again, allowing the nightie to slip aside and expose a breast, which he took into his mouth.
This is so nice of him! Lord, I need to feel his leadership! I need to have something specific to submit to. He’s heard my need to feel pursued and wanted, and he wants to take care of me.
Ironically, the errands got all messed up because we were such early birds, few things on our list were open yet– all except the greasy, drive-through, delicious, breakfast taco dump, and the horribly sinful and indulgent donut place (can’t tell you the last time I had a donut, and SK was so kind to remind me we’d be walking it off–and working it off). I tried to broach the subject while walking about our different sex drives, but it didn’t really go anywhere. He basically just said, “viva la difference,” in essence.
And, he periodically asked me if I was thinking about later today. SK is so into delayed gratification. I’m not so good at it…
“Oh, yes sir.”
Ah! Finally a time and specifics: 2:30, kneeling, white panties, and hair up (“always” he says today).
And yet I will show you the most excellent way…
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
We’ve all heard this chapter from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. It’s a staple at many weddings. Christian or not, “religious” or not, few of us find these verses in anyway divergent or offensive. I daresay most people would agree with most of the thoughts in verses 4-7.
But oh, is it so hard to do and “be” sometimes.
Maybe you’re like me, when you’ve read or heard this read, you immediately start to think of all of those people you wish could hear this, and take it to heart. Man, would it be a better world if they just heard those verses! It applies to everyone else, but not you.
We often do not hear that lead-in from the previous chapter (12), where Paul has been speaking to the Corinthians about gifts. It seems the members of this church really hadn’t gotten the full message of salvation through faith and not deeds; some parties were bragging and competing, thinking themselves more “holy” by virtue of possessing “better” gifts such as speaking in tongues or prophecy. Paul is all, “OK, OK, having those gifts is OK, but don’t think yours is the best– to make this all work out, we should have no divisions, we need to respect and admire how ALL our gifts are good and glorify God. But…
Let me tell you THE MOST EXCELLENT way.
(I can envision the page being dramatically turned as Paul’s letter was being read, the hush among the people who had been bragging, proud, and competitive about all their wonderful spiritual gifts. Wait, there’s something else?)
It’s love. Pure, sacrificial, humble, selfless love.
I can be the most gifted, the most talented person in the world, I can speak the language of angels… but I’m nothing without love. Just an annoying noise. I can have more faith than anyone, faith to move mountains for goodness sake… but this is nothing without love. I can be the most sacrificial, giving, dedicated person I know… but if I don’t do it with love, it’s meaningless. All of my gifts, talents, abilities fall short, are mortal, incomplete, imperfect, immature…
You see, I think that God knew that we were going to be a work-oriented species. We were going to take pride in our labor, our gifts, our talents. We were going to be tempted to not even acknowledge that God was the author of all this cool stuff we are and do. We strut around and think, we are really something, look at me.
God knew that the hardest thing for any of us was to humble ourselves, to not envy, boast, be proud or self-seeking. He knew it was going to be our greatest challenge to love sacrificially without thought to our reward, just as Christ did.
It’s a tall order. The more I move down the path of my submission to God and my husband, the more meaningful this chapter has become to me. It’s not just words that I apply to others. I’m trying to memorize it so that I can start every day with it. I want to turn it into questions for my own heart:
- Am I patient?
- Am I kind?
- Am I envious (discontent)? Well, stop and think of my blessings!
- Am I boasting (talking too much)? Well, stop and honor others with my ears!
- Am I proud (thinking I’m better than others)? Well, be humble!
- Am I dishonoring others (hmmm… cutting that person off in traffic? Not showing gratitude towards those who help me or work jobs that make my life better?) Well, show honor by being gracious, thankful, and complimentary.
- Am I doing something to just get my own way? Well, think about others’ needs too!
- Am I letting something get me angry? Do I have negative, vengeful thoughts towards others?
- Am I holding on to grudges, keeping a record, justifying I’m so much better than…?
- Do I seek to protect, trust, hope, and persevere?
Apply this to my husband, my children, my friends… and (gasp!) my enemies. Yea, God told us to love and pray for our enemies. When I stop doing any of these things, I am not living up to the most excellent way.
Looking back over my marriage, I wasn’t being very many of these things. As much as I gave lip service to being “loving,” I was not always. It’s easy to fool ourselves sometimes. However now that I’m living as a submitted wife, I see the glorious fruit of righteousness, even here on earth, here in my marriage. As leader of our marriage, my husband is called to love with patience, kindness, humility, and to protect, trust, hope and persevere. To serve him and strengthen him as the leader of our marriage I should do no less.
I truly think the thing SK finds most sexy about me is when I am working hard to live out these expressions of my love. He feels honored, respected, I am building him up– all the while building myself up. My submission is so much more natural and fulfilling when I’m 1 Corinthians 13 in my love.
To the Philippians, Paul prayed: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil 1:9-11)
It’s a tall, tall order. I know I’m destined to fail sometimes (miserably), to fall short of the mark. Scripture tells me that too. It’s by God’s grace (and the wonderful mercy gift that SK possesses) that I can start over every day with a new heart and mind and desire to love as he commanded.
“I’m bankrupt without love…”
I watched with excitement and wonder as SK took the tie and expertly lashed my wrists together, rather tightly. No quick and
easy wrap, oh no… it was an intricate bond of figure eights and wraps around each individual wrist and then both, with a firm knot that wasn’t going to come loose. My wrists were immobile; my fingers were prayered. For the first time ever, I was bound in such a way that I was completely at his mercy, and my hands were useless to me. It was even a tad bit uncomfortable– and I loved that.
Oh, bliss! What is it about that tool that just sends my senses singing?! He’s getting so good at it too, varying the strokes to tickle, swipe, and sting. I honestly felt myself floating. I didn’t want it to stop. Then his palm met my flesh in a sweet, sharp crack that made me jump and moan in delight. I felt the wetness between my thighs, more copious than normal.
Sir Knight has learned to communicate in my language, to bring me to a calm and peaceful place, where there is total trust– and total abandon.
As he used the wand to edge me, I was struggling to keep my float going. My hands were powerless. I had to just go with what he offered. It takes such a long while sometimes to bring me to orgasm, and try as I may, I start to stress about this and lose my abandonment.
His mouth takes the place of the wand, and nearly sends me over. The wand comes again.
I don’t think SK knows about edging or orgasm denial– we’ve never discussed these things, but that is what was happening nonetheless. I was on the edge, nearly crying to tip over. I was doing it to myself.
He switched to our powerful tiny little Sensuelle, and within minutes had me arching my hips off the bed and squeezing my knees closed from the intensity of the orgasm and the sensitivity of my clit. Normally my hand flies defensively to clutch myself in this moment of exquisite but unbearable rawness, but my hands were immobilized, and I only could trust him. This time he knew to draw back a few seconds to help the painful sensitivity subside, but then brought me yet again to 3 more orgasms, each sweeter than the last, until I was arched in a full backbend on my shoulders and the tips on my toes. I don’t know because of my blindfold, but I sensed his pleasure in becoming maestro of my body.
As I trembled and quivered from the pleasure, his mouth found my nipples and tugged on them as I continued to moan in my bliss.
He released my hands, but not my blindfold. My mouth found him and coaxed him to life.
He pulled me atop him and urged me to find my enjoyment. Again, this is a time when my headspace gets compromised, as I worry about his orgasm–is this pleasurable for him? However, earlier today he had asked me for a hand job, promising tonight would be “for me.” With the aftershocks of my 4 earlier orgasms still coursing through me, I selfishly sought the stimulation that felt good to me… I leaned way back, tucking my toes under, arching my back in “camel pose” from yoga and rode him as moans emitted from my throat.
Limp, sated, swooning.
This is what Sir Knight does for me.
[NB: I realize I’ve spent the last three posts discussing how sex and kink aren’t THE most important things in a relationship… but they are definitely more than just the icing on the cake. Sexual union and pleasure is a powerful connective tool between a man and a woman, a gift that God gave us to use and enjoy. It is an expression of our love, however it also serves to fuel our love. Unless there is a physical impediment, love without sex is wrong and incomplete, IMHO. However if there is any lack of trust, respect or honor in the day-to-day of your marriage, sex will not fix that.]
As each day, each week, each month went by with my honest attempts at submission, I witnessed a miraculous growth our relationship in ways I could have never foreseen.
I also began to realize how horrible I’d been. I’d been self-absorbed, selfish, proud and strong-willed. I had wanted things MY way. I had pushed him away in every way possible, even though I had fooled myself that I was everything he could have possibly wanted, and more. Obviously it does take two to tango, and SK’s distance and inexplicable disinterest in sexual connection had truly hurt me to my core. And I had lashed back with a vengeance. Now as my Knight was blossoming with my respect, honor and love, I began appreciating what I had in him.
I needed a good, hard spanking.
I felt that I deserved a good, hard spanking.
I knew that I would just feel better if he would spank me, but I just never seemed to be able to help him understand this to the point he would actually do it. Beyond the erotic reasons, I had practical ones.
DH knows me as an intelligent and well-reasoned person. As I look back, I get why this confused him. The fact that he was such a perfect gentleman who would NEVER consider raising his hand, much less his voice, to a woman or a child, made it all the more difficult to wrap his brain around. And I didn’t have the words to explain it either. He couldn’t see past that HE felt I was asking him essentially to treat me as a child. He clearly had not bought into that type of marriage, he had expected a marriage of reasoned peers. I’d make our bed because it was the right thing to do, plus it pleased him. I would tidy the house because it was the right thing to do. I’d respect him because I loved him. He was not about to punish me for not doing these things willingly. However all the frustration he felt over these things had been swallowed and had festered. I couldn’t help but think he’d feel so much better by spanking me. And at one point, he actually did share that he was a bit afraid of losing control if he did spank me from frustration (even though I know with conviction he’d never harm me).
To this day, I marvel at the men who blogged, who seemingly had no problems spanking/disciplining their wives. All their wives had to do was agree, request it, or beg for it, and the husband was on board with discipline. Many of the husbands were quite creative and explicit about spanking sessions and techniques. Wives gushed about how much it connected them to their men, and how it centered them. There were not only discipline spankings but maintenance spankings and other punishments such as writing lines or standing in the corner. The latter two honestly did nothing for me, it truly would seem a little silly to me, and I didn’t request this. In every case, the marriage sounded ideal.
But I just could not find the words or reasons to communicate my desire to him on this front. He’d give a few pats to my rear; when I presented him with options of a hair brush or a wooden spoon, he’d teasingly and playfully give me a few whacks. I just had to be patient on this front, but it was hard.
I focused in on other acts of submission.
As our journey deepened, I wanted an honorific other than his name, and asked if I could call him “Sir.” He wasn’t sure he liked it. When neither of us could come up with anything more suitable, I began using it in a quiet, private way. I think he sort of liked it. Especially when he’d tell me something and my response would be a cheerful “yes sir!” I still remember the moment in bed once when he asked me something, and I merely said “yes.” I still get chills recalling his firm prompt, “Yes what?” “Sir” was catching on. Now it is normal, and I’ve watched our college-aged daughter smirk a little upon hearing me respond to a request he’s made without thinking.
I reiterated my pledge that my body was his, always, anytime. The bible even says that a wife’s body does not belong to her, but to her husband (and vice versa). At first he was reluctant, but eventually he was starting to believe me. His time of peak arousal is early morning. After strong encouragement, he began taking me in the predawn hours when he’d start to rouse. It was sweet and often times just for him, and I adored being awoken this way, and told him this. Before long, I found myself heading to bed earlier and earlier so as to fall asleep spooning in his arms, and wake with him in me.
Not long after this, SK presented me his “requirements” for our relationship. He told me I was to remember “PLUG” (which at first caused me to raise my eyebrows. Anal is a hard limit for him!) which was the acronym for “Pursued, Led, Understood, Gifted.” SK told me that he realized that this is what I needed from him to feel secure and loved. He was right.
In return, I was to remember what he needed: Respect, Interest, and patience (RIP).
(I teasingly asked if we could please make PLUG into PLUGS so that spanks would be part of it… but he held his ground).
On kneeling: I wanted to do this, but knew this was also outside SK’s comfort range. There is a little controversy surrounding this for a Christian, because kneeling usually is a posture before God for praise/worship/confession, and we are to have no other Gods, nor worship any one but God. I knew that I had the hierarchy in our marriage clear in my head: God was my number one, and SK came right after that. God was my Lord; SK was my husband. My husband submits to God, and I in turn am submitting to God’s will when I obey scripture and submit to my husband. I adore him, I respect him, but I don’t worship SK as I do God. Yet an act of worship to God is to honor and submit to my husband. Therefore I could rationalize kneeling as a sign of respect and obedience to SK, not to mention what it did for my own submission. SK never asked for this, and didn’t seem to want it. However once in a while, I’d kneel by him on the couch, and lay my head in his lap, and he didn’t protest. He of course allowed me to kneel before him when loving him with my mouth; and very recently, he had the visual from the FSOG movie, and has allowed me to kneel for him in preparation for our playtime. I know he still doesn’t fully get what this does for my headspace, but it’s a start.
Our communication and interactions improved. Respect, appreciation, affection and love returned. Bedroom time, both vanilla and kinky, got hot. I watched SK now LOVING intimacy, and initiating it more often than I would expect. Wow! We started introducing toys, SK experimented with new moves, and before long the hang ups were falling away. Trust was building. My derriere was getting paddled more often, as SK started to understand its therapeutic and arousing affects on me. I added more impact implements to our collection and requested him to try them on me. Sexual intimacy moved beyond mere intercourse and involved play and scenes and exploration of pleasure and limits. We learned compromise, and SK let me know that contrary to my turn ons, he preferred soft, gentle and slow. We learned to both enjoy the smorgasbord. We bonded, we connected, and we kept feeding this rebirth of our passion and physical love.
In our day-to-day life, I worked on showing respect, interest and patience, as he had asked me. I also kept a more careful watch on my sometimes sarcastic tongue in public, and was careful to say positive and uplifting things to him and about him when around others. I was shocked at how I unwittingly had been disrespecting and tearing him down over the years, and started to notice this about other women with their husbands. It was a sobering lesson to me to have this mirror. SK was employing the hand signal to warn me when my tongue was inappropriate, or when I would try to wrest control from him. His calm, “I’ve got this, DD” was the signal I needed to just take a deep breath and let him lead. In the beginning he would lock eyes with me as my mouth would open and close as I fought the urges to debate him, “I just wanted to say that…” He’d arch an eyebrow meaningfully as if to say, “Did you really mean it when you said you’d submit?” and I’d immediately bite my tongue, sometimes with a sour face. Later, in private, he’d pull me firmly towards him and confidently explain his reasons for not considering my opinion, and I have to admit, they were always good ones. “Am I your Dom?” he’d rhetorically ask. All I could do was say, “Yes, Sir,” and secretly thrill inside. Our new roles were beginning to feel more normal.
SK now held my hand, put his arm around me, pulled me into hugs, slapped my bottom, blew me kisses and showered all sorts of attention on me that made me feel pursued and loved. He resumed opening my car door, doing all the driving, taking care of the cars, and taking care of me. He also spoiled me, treated me, and gifted me as never before.
Did we still backslide and make mistakes? Of course. But now we had a plan of action on how to handle disagreements. I now acknowledged SK as my leader, the head of our home, and my Dominant. He didn’t belittle me or stop asking my opinions or my input in the majority of decisions. Instead of “telling” him how I thought something should be done, I instead would respectfully ask him what he thought about it, leaving the final decision to him.
There have been a wonderful group of people who have followed my journey now for quite a while, and have seen the changes. They’ve seen me pout, fume, throw tantrums, backpedal, and question why I handed SK the “Dom card.” They have encouraged me and cheered me on, and sometimes scolded and chastised me. And I thank God for all of them.
Perhaps not all marriages can be revived as mine has been. If you had asked me even 2 years ago if it was possible I’d probably have been doubtful, maybe cautiously optimistic. After all, we’re over 50 and you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, can you? Well, I’d say we’ve proven that adage wrong.
If you’re where I was, please take heart that change can happen. It isn’t easy, it’s hard work and sometimes a complete shift in thinking. And even if you are starting off, as I did, with the desire for kink… you’ll soon find that to be a component that means very little until you get all your other ducks in a row in “This Thing We Do.” When the respect and proper order is established in your relationship, the good lovin’ will come. And come and come and come!
Wives, do you want a “better husband?” A happier marriage? If you know deep in your heart that he is a good and honorable man, all I can say is start with your own attitudes, by respecting your husband anew.
And watch the magic happen….
[triage: (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties].
“So, SK, it’s up to you: are you willing to work on our physical connection, attempt to heal this marriage? If you’re not, I understand, but you need to understand that I will have to go. I’m not saying divorce, but I won’t live with you any more. We’d come together for the kids during holidays and special events, but live apart. The ball is in your court…”
I know this was playing hard ball on my part… but I felt I was out of options to save this marriage. I wasn’t sure what he’d say…
Thank God he said he was willing to try. His caveat was that I was to “be nice.” In my anger, hurt, and frustration, I had developed a meanness and sarcasm that was sharp, cutting and dismissive. The many pithy proverbs about wives rang
through my head: “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” (12:19); “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;” (27:15) “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house With a quarrelsome wife. “(21:9 and 25:24).
This was what he couldn’t continue living with.
(I admit I agreed with a tad of sarcasm and denial in my head about not being so bad…)
We called a truce. We stopped snipping and holding on to grudges. We became kinder and more tolerant and forgiving towards each other, treating the other as we would want to be treated. We started trying harder in the bedroom to meet each others’ intimacy needs. We had a lot of work ahead of us.
Meanwhile I was still reading blogs, investigating why I always had been attracted by what had been termed S&M in “my day.” It now had a new name, or names I should say. There was BDSM (Bondage-Discipine/Dominance-Sadism/Submission-Masochism). I read about Domestic Discipline, This Thing We Do, Taken in Hand; Master/slave, Dominance/submission, Tops and bottoms. The main theme running through a lot of these lifestyle choices was spanking, discipline, and submission. I gravitated towards the blogs of Christian, monogamous couples, and I realized that this was what I was looking for: a biblical marriage of respect. I coveted the peace and sense of well-being described by wives in such marriages. This included a husband who would be my leader, the Head of Household, someone who would be my Dominant.
I began to acknowledge to myself the heretofore disturbing fact that there was a very strong submissive side to me which I’d kept carefully under wraps during my marriage. My sexual submission in past relationships had rendered me out of control and vulnerable to abuses, mostly emotional. On the occasions I had given my submission to a man in a relationship, it had been to men who were not trustworthy or true Leaders/Doms of integrity. I was misled and hurt through submission. Therefore, throughout my marriage, I had always struggled to keep some semblance of control, a protective wrapping around who I was, never allowing trust, hence never allowing submission. It was tiring, and ineffective. It had made us miserable.
My man is the most trustworthy person I’d ever known in my life. Even during the lowest points of our marriage, he continued to provide for our family, hard working and uncomplaining. He planned, he saved, he took care of us. I had very few worries or needs. He never tried to control me or force anything on me. Even through our difficulties, he set his own needs aside, determined to make the best of a bad situation, and never compromised his role as the best father ever. He was a dedicated son as well, making sure his parents were cared for. I stepped back with new eyes, and realized what a fool I’d been not to trust this man, or count my blessings.
I wanted to submit to him. And I needed to apologize to him and make this relationship right.
I wanted to stop fighting for control. I wanted to give it over to this man of integrity. I just didn’t know how I’d do this. The information overload from the internet was cluttering my brain, because there were just so many “lifestyle” choices out there. Often it was hard to evaluate and separate them out, the sexy parts always just seemed so interwoven with the discipline and submission.
This was going to be hard. I couldn’t really remember the last person I truly trusted. I was a control freak. To not hold control signified weakness and defeat and vulnerability to me. To give that up was scary. I didn’t even know where to start.
I started recognizing so many scriptural truths in what I was reading, and turned back to the Bible, and mentoring I’d done
early in my marriage with a Christian woman who was trying to help me with wifely submission. I had been hardheaded and unteachable at that time. Now the fog was lifting for me, and I was seeing more clearly. Yes, submission was about me, about how I chose to interact with and follow my husband; but it was also about building up my husband–and our marriage.
Today I read this amazing piece from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life that helps me to reconcile my views on weakness, and exposes the lies the world had taught me.
Our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry. We are far more likely to be compassionate and considerate of the weakness of others. God wants you to have a Christ-like ministry on earth. That means other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts. The things you’re most embarrassed about, most ashamed of, and most reluctant to share are the very tools God can use most powerfully to heal others.
The Apostle Paul bragged about his weakness in scripture: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:10
As long as I was going along with this little game that I was perfect and everyone else fell short, the sadder I was destined to be. I had to accept and even embrace my weaknesses, and use them to grow. I had some serious work to do on myself, and the triage began. I was beyond blessed that I had such a trustworthy man to support me through this sometimes painful triage process.
We had reconnected in the bedroom. I vowed to him that I would never deny him. He had only to ask, and I’d say yes. I was determined to remove any boundaries to sex, and was always open and accepting and grateful. The joining felt so good, it had been so long since we tenderly held one another’s naked body and made love. This gave us immeasurable strength in our healing, but we were still a long way from being a true Dom/sub dynamic. He still didn’t feel 100% comfortable to “take what was his.” He was ever the gentleman, and perhaps ever cautious that the caustic, harpy wife would return.
With the confusing mass of information I now had, I also told SK about how I knew I was wired for bedroom kink, the turn on and peace that I felt with rough play and impact play. And that essentially, I’d been lying to him for 20 years about being a sweet little vanilla wife. I liked kink. Like the Fifty Shades of Grey kink (SK read the books at my request to try to understand).
And I admitted I’d been lying about having orgasms with him. I’d never had one with him, because I’d always been reluctant to explain to him what I needed.
I told him in addition to kinky sex, I also desired a domestic discipline relationship, where he would punish me for shortcomings.
“Why would I hit you?” he’d ask with confusion.
“To help me improve my attitude, to correct me, to discipline me.”
“And why wouldn’t you do this just because you love me?”
“It’s complicated… it’s just how I’m wired. It will help me…”
“I’m not going to hit you. I’m not going to punish you…” he’d say.
Sigh. My heart would sink. How could I argue with his reasoning? And if I truly was trying to submit and relinquish control… I had to just trust him. It was hard. I just wanted everything, NOW.
I was struggling with too many things at once.
I wanted kinky sexual play. It turned me on.
I wanted a Biblical, Dominant/submissive dynamic 24/7 with my husband, where I respected, honored and trusted him.
We talked a lot. I began secretly blogging to explore my thoughts and hear what others had to say.
One thing that came through clearly from those who commented on my blog and provided wise counsel, was that any change had to come from me. I had to submit without expectations, without “topping from the bottom.” I didn’t get to write the script and pull his puppet strings. I could express to him things that were turn ons, but I was not to demand anything. Oh, such a huge change from my norm!
I worked on my submission. My attitude turned to one of thanks, appreciation and respect for my husband. I stopped debating and second-guessing him. I stopped criticizing his decisions. If I had a concern, it was respectfully offered as a question. The more I submitted and respected, the more his outward Dominance flourished.
He also was cautiously guarded. He truly thought this was a phase for me, and that I wouldn’t sustain a submissive heart very long.
After a good month of my submission, we talked again about Domestic Discipline. He expressed how much he appreciated my changes in attitude. He also informed me that he has always been in control, he just never felt a need to be “loud” or forceful about it. He understood that my sexual preferences leaned towards the kinky and rough; he however preferred soft and tender. We needed to acknowledge our differences and find ways to compromise.
Could we do this? It was going to involve hard work. It might be unpleasant at times, and I wasn’t sure I would “get what I
wanted” out of it. I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn’t all about me, it was about our relationship and the success of our marriage. Gradually he began to step up with his Dominance, and agreed to certain quiet redirections or private signals to cue me that I wasn’t respecting him or I was starting to show lack of trust.
My husband was willing to lead, even though he was still tentative about flexing his Dominant/leader muscles.
It was me that now had to decide if I could do this “submission thing…”
More to follow…