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.