Friday, October 31, 2014

When I Question FLR, I Need to Read This

In a comment on my last post, Robert_Anthony talked about holding doors and putting on his Mistress' shoes for her.  It made me realize that I'm really NOT doing this "to" my knight..I really and truly doing this FOR him.. for us, and I need to embrace our flr fully and stop being concerned with knight's reactions, or whether or not I've "forced" him into the FLR.

How'd I get here? It was the shoe thing. Knight has dropped to his knees in front of me more than once in order to put my shoes on for me. Once we were at home with only our kids to see it, but another time we were at a friend's house or something.. or maybe we were at home and had people over. Honestly, I don't remember the details. I just remember knight getting on his knees in front of me. I was holding our infant daughter, on second thought, I think I was pregnant with our daughter. He positioned himself so I could use his shoulder for balance as he put my shoes on for me one by one. I remember it because it was early-ish in our relationship - we weren't married yet, and it struck me as odd, but sweet. (Remember, this is several years before we even considered FLR)

My point is that knight didn't even think about it. It didn't phase him that there was an audience to his actions. He saw an opportunity to be helpful to me, and he took it. Nothing else mattered to him.  To me, it felt awkward and just a bit odd. Not quite embarrassing but I blushed just the same. I did not tell him not to do it again, but I didn't do anything to reinforce the behavior, either.

When he did the same thing at home,around the same time, I distinctly remember telling him I could do it myself.  Again.. this was years ago. That infant I was pregnant with celebrates her 9th birthday in a week.

As for opening doors.. my knight would get out of the car to open my door for me every single time, if I let him. Sometimes I do. Not often, though. I always have him close my door for me, but rarely do I give him time to open it. I should do that more, I do enjoy it.

When we were brand new, knight said "thank you" every time we had sex. I told him it was "odd" and told him to stop it. 

Again, I have to face the fact that knight DID try to ask me to allow him to submit to, and serve me. He didn't use words - he used actions. He didn't have the words.. this is just who he is. And I didn't understand. It seems to me that the issues we have now with FLR are, in a large part, my own doing. It felt uncomfortable to me to be pampered. I'd never been pampered before. I was taught to be strong. To do things for myself. That not being able to do a thing for myself was a weakness. And, you NEVER show weakness. To allow a man to do a task for you that you can do yourself was to take advantage of him and be a prissy, flaming bitch. Granted, I was a child a long time ago (I am 44), but old habits die hard. I've always been strong and independent. Experience taught me that a guy who didn't want to make the decisions, didn't want to "be in charge", was a guy who really didn't care either way. So, when knight tried to defer to me, I misunderstood. For years, I misunderstood. Again, he tried to explain, but couldn't find words that I understood. Same with his lists and routines. He asked me for these things for years.. I took at as "too lazy to see what needs doing" In fact, he needed my guidance because he did see the 100 things that needed doing in that moment. But, his focus was on fulfilling MY priorities, not his own. And without my guidance he had no clue what was most important to me. So, he did nothing.

I started to understand these things a few years ago, when I popped some of his words into Google in an attempt to understand his thinking, and save our marriage. That's how I found FLR.

I'm still trying to understand.

How many of today's FLR problems were caused by my actions all those years ago? If I had been able to understand what he was trying to tell me, how would things be different now?

I guess that doesn't matter. What matters is what I do from here out. FLR has been a struggle for us... for me. It still feels foreign to me to allow myself to be pampered and taken care of. After these couple years it still feels bitchy for me to tell knight what he can and can't do, impose rules, and punish him for not meeting expectations.

But... I need to get the hell over that, and embrace it. Our marriage thrives when I am a strong leader. A leader.. Leads, gives direction, rewards good behavior, and exceptional actions, hands out consequences for not meeting expectations, and gives those she leads the opportunity to excel.

THAT is what I'm doing here.. giving knight the opportunity to excel and feel contented in his role, by accepting  and using his natural tendencies.

When I question our role.. when I feel that I'm forcing FLR on to knight, I need to remember that no, I am doing this to help him be the best HIM possible.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Fault (another boring post)

Tuesday evening was interesting. With kids in bed, and knight's bedtime routine completed we sat down for some quiet time. I asked knight if he had time to review the newly revised rules and brand new bedtime routine. He said he had. I always give knight the opportunity to comment on, and suggest changes to, all rules before they go into effect. It gives him a chance to voice any concerns, or objections before he's held accountable. I will do the same with the newly created routines. Knight didn't have anything to say about either. The new rules look a lot like the old ones, so I didn't expect him to say much. The bedtime routine is brand new. It includes routine things he does anyway like locking the house, and making sure I've closed the back door, getting my evening herbs for me. It also includes some new things like getting a glass or water for each of us, and removing all his clothing as soon as he enters the bedroom. I've decided that from here out knight will not wear clothes in our bedroom.

From there we talked about an email we'd been passing back and forth all day regarding flr topics, and our conversation on Saturday.  In the email I explained to knight, once again, that we do flr for him. I could live the rest of my life quite happily without controlling everything.. without creating rules, routines, and task lists for him.  We do this because he thrives on it. I explained that since that is the case, that flr and knowing /feeling I'm in control of things causes him to feel loved and secure in our marriage, I need him to stop hiding from that and stop trying so hard not to express that. My husband is a "hide your feelings so nobody can use them against you" kind of guy. Life taught him early that when people know how you feel, they use it against you. You know that geeky, super smart kid who everybody teased all through school? The one who was brilliant, but awkward with the girls, and didn't fit in with the guys, so he kept mostly to himself and  took a lot of shit from everyone?  Yep.. I married him. To make matters worse, he was a military brat.. military kids are even worse to each other than non-military kids. So.. it's no wonder he hides his feelings.

Anyway.. that led us to him asking me once again why I dropped the flr to begin with. He kind of remembers mentioning that he wasn't sure about the dynamic, but swears he never meant for us to drop it. What was really going on in his head??

He felt unimportant, and ignored.   He can't explain to me exactly why he felt that way, because he doesn't remember what he was thinking.

Here's what I remember -We moved across country in April. Things got hectic and we brought a house guest across country with us. A friend's husband wanted to check out the job market here, and so he came with us. I toned down the flr a bit to preserve knight's image with this guy.  We were still practicing, but I stopped doing things out in the open. Knight no longer had to get my evening herbs, I no longer asked him to do random things for me "just because", I no longer asked him to sit on the floor by my feet on occasion. Right or wrong, I was concerned about what our friend and house guest would think of my husband if he did these things.

And then my daughter came to stay with us. She is very against the flr. Any time she sees me ask knight to do something I can do myself, she calls me on it, saying that I am being unfair to him. I've explained that doing things for me makes him feel like I need him.. I compared it to playing into a guy's ego so he feels needed. She thinks the whole thing is unfair and manipulative. So.. to keep peace with my adult daughter, I probably backed off just a bit more when she got here.   (although to be fair and totally honest.. when she went away to college, she started dating a guy who by her admission is "just like " knight. She's called me a few times asking me if it was unfair for her to play into and direct his efforts. I told her to try it.. and watch his react. If he doesn't like being directed, he'll let her know.)

Anyway.. so.. even through all this, I was sending knight his daily task lists, rewarding and punishing completed and uncompleted lists, respectively. The tease and denial continued, and I still controlled his orgasms. But, that was the end of it.

It was right around this time that he tells me he started feeling unimportant, and ignored. Things took a nose dive from there.

Connected.......??

Yeah. probably.  Most likely.

So. When you get down to the bottom line here.... this is my fault. In an attempt to save my knight's feelings, I caused him to feel abandoned, ignored, and unimportant to me. Yep. I suck.  In my (very lame) defence, I did tell knight I was going to back off from the more obvious stuff, and I explained why.  I remember asking him how he felt about it, and he said he didn't care either way.

Why didn't he tell me how he was feeling? He says he tried... and I believe him.. BUT it came out as complaining about the budget. He wanted me to buy him a new cell phone, and I said no. He spent days complaining that he has not earned enough money from his writing to replace the camera he pawned 4 years ago. (short version. I bought him a pro level camera for his birthday. He lost his job, pawned his camera against my will. I told him he has to earn the money to replace it from his writing).

He was whiney, moody and simply put, a pain in the ass. He became undependable and distant.He started ignoring flr rules, and became more selfish and self absorbed... . and he stayed that way.

So..........this whole mess had been my doing. If I had stuck with the flr despite the house guest we likely would not be in this mess. Sure, I was looking out for his best interests.. but.. maybe I was looking out for the wrong interests.  I didn't want knight to lose the respect of the house guest. I didn't care what house guest thought of me.... I was doing his wife and him a huge favor by letting him come out here with us, and by supporting him and letting him stay here.   I really didn't care what these people though about the dynamic of our marriage.. Heck, his wife  and I had talked about it a bit.. She was aware I am in charge of everything.  But.. her husband did not know.. and I didn't want my knight to lose a friend over it, or be subjected to any comments when I wasn't around.

My knight told me he didn't care either way. I should have continued the flr the way we had been doing it for the past couple months.. the way that was working.


Ladies.. how do you get over the feeling that you are being unfair to your submissive? How to you get over feeling that the dynamic itself is unfair to the submissive?  Am I wrong to consider knight's reputation with friends when deciding how to act or how "openly in control" to be when there are other people around?

Guys... what do you think? Do you get crap from male friends when your Mistress/Wife/Dominant is openly in charge in front of your friends?   Do you care?  Have you lost or drifted away from male friends because they didn't get it? How does your Dominant handle social situations?



Monday, October 27, 2014

Musing Aloud, On Paper....

...or.. on the screen.. whatever. I'm a writer - talking to myself out loud on paper or screen is what I do. Dear Readers, don't expect this to make a whole lot of sense..and don't expect it to be particularly interesting. This is a free-write.. thoughts from my head directly to the page.. no editing, no second looks.. Write it and hit send. Sometimes my head is not a fun place to be...

... . but it if does make sense, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Understanding the Why is the first step in finding a solution.....

Knight fights his submissive side. Fights it hard. When he's being a great submissive he and I have an amazing marriage. We talk about everything, we share everything. He's my best friend, and I'm his. He's an awesome dad, he's happy, content, and sure of himself.Honestly.. when he's being a "good submissive" I have everything I could ever want in my husband.

But, then .. something happens in his head and he pulls away from me and from the D/s aspect of our relationship. He starts blowing things off, stops listening, stops following routines, stops seeking my direction, sex becomes all about him, . And invariably he starts screwing up left and right. Within weeks, I'm upset with him, the kids are upset with him, he's even managed to piss off a few friends. More importantly, he's obviously (to me, anyway) unhappy, angry with himself and just miserable.

So.. WHY does he do this? Why do we see this pattern? Couple of ideas.. probably in no way an exhaustive list, but I have to start somewhere..

1. He is really just playing the "FLR game" with me in order to keep the peace and keep us together for the kids. Because he sees, like I see, that when we are not actively engaging in FLR dynamic things fall apart.

2. He's afraid of the submissive aspects of himself. Afraid of what? Falling into it too deeply and having his heart destroyed again. His ex was good for that.

3. He dislikes the submissive side of himself and fights it instead of giving in... Why? His mother. Not trying to be cliche here, but his mother has always told me that he is "just like" his dad.. and in her world that is an insult. She hates his dad. Even after 30 years of being divorced, she is still angry and bitter, and would do just about anything to "get back" at him.   On the flip side.. my FIL really IS a lot like my husband. His 2nd wife seems to have everything well under control. It would not surprise me in the least if they operated under and FLR type arrangement.He tends to go to her for approval for just about everything, and he's content with that. I don't know what the parameters of thier marriage is.. and it's none of my business, but if I had to guess, I'd guess that she is openly "in charge." Knight agrees.. So..   Just maybe ... that's the root of knight being so uncomfortable with his submissive role.. he's heard all his life that he's "just like his dad" and he knows damned well it was meant as an insult. My MIL  - knight's mom expects the man in her life to be "in charge." She's a strong, angry, resentful, woman who has no respect for non-dominant men. She makes that well known.. often, and loudly.  That could cause my knight to hide from his own submissive ideas.. so as to not be criticised by his mother.

4. I'm over thinking this.. I do that. Maybe there's nothing behind this at all. Except I know knight better than that. He's not prone to acting on a whim. He hates acting on a whim..  There is always a reason.. sometimes he doesn't understand that reason himself.. but there is ALWAYS a reason.

5. His heart's not really in our marriage and he's just trying to avoid conflict. I used to think this was a valid consideration. I don't any more. There's been too much back and forth.. too many times when I've been ready to give up and he has not. My frustration and hurt obviously  upsets him. He tells me that his entire reason for being is wrapped up in me "being happy."

6. Depression? He's always been prone episodes of mild depression.. what if the beginning of those depressions looks like him giving up on FLR.. what if the beginning of those depressions is him being moody, and blowing things off.. becoming unsure of our FLR dynamic. Then... when I back off the FLR, I unintentionally reinforce whatever demons are running loose in his head. He things, "she doesn't really care." and starts messing up.. I give him the space he seems to need and take an FLR break... if he needs the control to feel loved, then I have just reinforced the thought of "she doesn't care" that started the mess.. and we spiral to hell from there. Until I put the brakes on and practically force him back into FLR. He feels loved, and comes out of the depression......

7. Combination of a few things.. some I've already listed, others I haven't thought of yet..

8. I'm full of crap and this whole thing is my problem. .. eh.. could be.. maybe.. I don't see it.. I have looked for it.. I'm by no means perfect. I'm demanding, and a perfectionist, I expect  a lot of myself, and almost as much from knight. Could I simply be expecting to much? Could this be a "me" problem?  Okay..  how so.. Sometimes I lighten up on the flr stuff because I feel he doesn't really want it.. like I "forced" him into it... could that cause him to feel like I don't care any more? Yeah.. it could he's told me that it does. Have I done that lately? Not for those reasons, no. 

9. I'm doing something to cause him to pull away. Sure.. it's possible. He says that I haven't done anything to make him pull away. Of course, he rarely recognizes when he's pulled away. so.. what do I do with that? 

10 PTSD issues from his ex.. maybe.. I dunno.. he still really can't talk about what he went through.. When we first moved in together, I definitely saw signs of trauma issues.. a lot of them. He's recovered a lot in the last 10 years though.. we've worked hard for that recovery. The level of his ex's mental illness was enough to traumatize anyone.  It was bad.. so yeah.. trauma issues are a possibility.. how does that effect the FLR dynamic? Getting too close.. feeling too vulnerable? unintentionally sabotaging a good thing to keep from getting hurt again? afraid to fall too deeply into submissive feelings? Lots of stuff..

11. 

That's all I have off the top of my head.. could there be something else that I haven't thought of yet? Of course. We've talked about all of these things .. every single one of them.  Knight says it's nothing I've done. He recognizes and sees that I try very hard to be sensitive to his feelings and needs. He knows I would never intentionally hurt him in any way.. He doesn't think he pulls away because of anything I have done. He does say that when I stop leading.. stop being dominant, he always feels like I'm mad at him.. like he's done something unforgivable to upset me.. and that, he tells me makes him upset with himself because he never wants me to be upset with him. Vicious circle? Perhaps.. but one I really want to stop.





Sunday, October 26, 2014

And.. We're Back

.... again.

A few days after my last post knight was having some difficulties with accepting his place as my submissive. He wasn't being defiant, but he was questioning his desire to maintain a power dynamic. Nothing, major,  maybe it was a mild depression, maybe one of the more dominant guys he works with said something completely unrelated that put him off, maybe a random thought about his ex wife made him reconsider, heck it could have been a random dream. I'll probably never know. The result of this was that he told me he wasn't sure he wanted to continue the FLR. I took that to mean he wanted to stop the dominant/submissive dynamic and go back to a 50/50(Ish) arrangement. I told him I thought it was a bad idea, but that I'd respect his request. So, I started including him in decisions, letting him decide what we did in the evenings, letting him find, and plan his own writing time, and basically moving toward a more equal distribution of power and responsibilities.

Can you guess how that went?   Within two weeks he and I were arguing because he was forgetting and messing up things left and right. By week 3, knight was in obviously depressed. By week 4 the kids were angry with him for not following through. In short, everything went to hell.  During week 6, I pointed out to him that things went bad shortly after he decided to stop the FLR. By some great exercise of self control I didn't suggest a return to the power dynamic. I had decided that if we resumed FLR, it would be because knight


asked for it. I'm tired of the back and forth.. I needed him to see and understand that we do FLR for HIM... not for me. So, I simply let my words hang in the air. Knight ignored them.

Things got worse. By this time we were sleeping on complete opposite sides of the bed, and I think he even spent a night on the couch because I was so angry with him. My son (12) started making comments like "No, I didn't ask dad for help, he can't be bothered to help us any more." I don't allow the kids to be at all disrespectful of either of us, he was right. I could see how the kids felt dad was no longer paying attention to them. He'd checked out on us emotionally. Sure, he was physically here, and he still did basic things with the kids, like read bedtime book each night. But, emotionally, he was somewhere else. If I wasn't absolutely sure where he was every minute of every day, I would have suspected an affair, but I knew that wasn't it.

It came to a final blow up 2 weeks ago. My step-son is 13 and has Autism and PTSD. He's been having some serious behavior problems and I've been dealing with everything alone because knight has been so distant.  One evening before bed, I told knight I needed a break from The Kid because the stress of his constant behaviors was getting to me.  Knight said nothing. He just sat there. I gave him 5 minutes or so, and then repeated myself.

He answered with "What do you want me to do about it?"

I looked at him, "What do you mean by that? I want you to pick up the slack, and help me with The Kid, and all the stuff I'm not getting done because of the sheer amount of supervision he needs right now."

"I'm at work all day. Besides, it looks like you've got it all under control. Why don't you have the other two help out more?" He told me.

"It's not their job to take care of their brother. It's yours. He's your son. I need your help, " I said.

Knight said nothing for for the next 30 minutes. In fact, he took so long to answer me that we both fell asleep. Nothing changed.

Needless to say, I was incredibly hurt and angry that he had reacted that way when I asked for his help. It's been a major issue between us ever since. Yesterday, he and I were outside, I asked him if this was going to be our new normal; if he was happy with the way things had developed over the last couple months.

He looked at me utterly surprised. "Of course not. This is what you want."

Huh? I asked him how he figured that, and he told me that I had stopped writing his daily lists, stopped keeping track of what he was supposed to do, and I'd stopped "giving" him writing time.

"Well.. of course I stopped those things. You asked to stop the FLR.That means you're responsible for keeping track of your own crap. It's not my job any more."

"But.. "

"No buts," I told him, "You asked to stop the FLR dynamic, by definition that puts you back in charge of your own day, and your won time. You have to make decisions for yourself now. It's what you wanted, and what I gave you."

"You stopped those things, and I thought you were mad at me," he said.

"Why? because I gave you what you asked for? Because I respected you when you asked for a more even power dynamic? Because you asked me to drop the FLR aspect, and I did what you asked.. just like I promised? That makes no sense."

We spent the next couple hours talking on and off, between kid requests and other things.

Finally, knight asked me if we could, please, go back to FLR.

I told him that I would only go back to it if he could admit that we operate under FLR because he needs it. In the past he's always said that he follows FLR because it makes ME happy.  It doesn't. FLR doesn't make me unhappy.. but I don't need to be his dominant in order to be happy, content and fulfilled in our marriage. He FINALLY admitted that being submissive to me pushes some sort of emotional button in him, and just makes things work. First he tried to tell me that it was an "us" thing.. that "it" (meaning d/s) only works for us because of the people we are. I told him that I believe he'd be this way.. need this.. from any one he's with, and pointed out just how much he let his ex wife run things, even though she was seriously mentally ill and had no business being in control of anything.  "yeah.. I see your point," he said.

He's finally admitted that he gets something emotionally from our FLR dynamic... that he needs it to be happy. He's finally seen what I see.. that his attitudes about everything change when I am not being dominant. He was finally able to see that it's not me who changes when we take these FLR breaks. HE is the one who changes.


Over the course of the evening knight's attitude started to shift. The anger started to fade away, he closed the distance he'd created between us. He started to become my sweet knight again. I've missed him.

We have a lot of work ahead of us.. a lot of rebuilding to do. It bothers knight that he doesn't understand why this works for him. He made the comment to me that "I'm enough like you that this shouldn't work. I should hate it."   But, he doesn't. I thrives under my control.  He asked me if the tables were turned, if I'd agree to such an arrangement. My answer was "Oh.. HELL no. If you had suggested I become submissive to you, I would have left. No question, we would have been over."

Then I pointed out that I didn't pull this out of the air. I pulled it from his words in our journal. I told him things would have been so much easier if he'd simply asked me for FLR, instead of making me figure out what he wanted.

His answer? "I tried. You fought the idea."

See the confusion there? In one breath he says "I should hate this" in the next he says "I tried to ask you for it"