Monday, March 7, 2016

Nees vs Wants

We're still here, and still flr. My knight is trying his best to overcome the depression and feelings of helplessness that accompany the situation with my step-son. Personally, I still believe my knight would benefit from medication to treat his depression, but he steadfastly refuses. He'd rather continue with the natural methods and protocols I have him on, and since there is a solid reason behind his reluctance to take depression meds, I have agreed.

His depression has been with us for years, and it's not likely to resolve anytime soon.  Keeping to flr helps. I think it provides him with mental and emotional stability. No matter what is going on around us, or in his head, he knows that I have the situation under control, and will take care of things. Which is fine up until the point where I need him to handle something without me--- that's where things fall apart.

Recently, I went on a week-long trip without Knight. I took my younger kids to visit my adult children. We had a great visit. While I was gone I focused entirely on the kids. My knight and I talked several times a day while we were gone, and did a few video chats with the kids, but I wasn't "in control" while we were gone. I made suggestions, and reminded him that masturbation was strictly forbidden, but other than that, I left him to his own devices. It wasn't an oversight on my part, it was intentional.

And.. it was a mistake

In the week I was gone, a distance grew between us. While Knight was thrilled were were home, and obviously missed me, it was equally obvious that he had retreated behind his emotional walls. I left on my trip, and the constant reminders of his place in my life went with me.... or something like that. He's been unable to explain the feelings. But, over the last week, I've been intentionally more in charge, making sure to give specific instructions, and things have improved.

One problem I'm having is reconciling the flr with my other needs. Yes, I enjoy leading us, and frankly, I won't go back to 50/50. Thinking back, I don't know that I've ever had a relationship that wasn't flr in nature even though I thought of those relationships as traditional. I've always expected, even required my man to do things my way... I've always been a "my way or the highway" kind of person. That's not to say that I don't take other people's opinions under consideration, I do, but once I make a decision I expect my partner to follow along.  But, sometimes I need a break.. sometimes I need my knight to take over, and take care of me without being told. I need him to see that I'm stressed, understand what I need, and do it. OR at the very least, see that I need *something*, and ask me what that need is.  And this is where he and I are having problems.

Knight tends to be very definitive in his thinking, especially in areas where he's unsure. He sees his role in our marriage to be "make her happy, do what she wants." And, because of that, he's often unable to see that sometimes, in order to make me happy, he needs to think about what he knows about me, and do what he knows I need him to do. One good example is when I have an MS flare. I have herbal remedies that I use when the MS gets out of control. Sometimes I don't recognize what is going on, I just know that I feel rotten and want to sleep, or be left alone. But, it's obvious to my knight that it's an MS flare. Instead of suggesting I use an herbal remedy, he usually waits it out until I feel better, or until I realize what's going on and come to the conclusion myself.   Another good example is when I'm overwhelmingly stressed. I tend to react to stress by isolating my self until I feel better. But, Knight and I know that there are things he can to to help relieve that stress. Instead of taking it upon himself to do those things, he waits for me to ask. At those times, I need him to step up, and DO what he knows I need from him, without directions. And he won't.  The result is usually an argument. We've talked about it at length and all I get from him is "but you didn't ask." I can't get him to understand that at those times, what I expect from him, is for him to do what he knows I need from him. It's a vicious circle that we get stuck in.

I know why we get caught in this.. My knight is very, very bad at understanding the difference between when it's okay to do other than what I've asked, and when it's not. For example, he has been known to spend large amounts of money on something he knew I wanted AFTER being told not to spend any unnecessary money. As far as he was concerned, it was okay to go off budget because he believed the purchase would make me happy and he was very much confused when I made him take the item back. (it happened more than once, and for about 5 years I didn't allow him to carry a bank card at all.)

Another example occurs every weekend.. Knight knows he is expected to handle all cooking and dishes/kitchen clean up on the weekends. I don't want to have to think about it.  And... I don't think about it, which means that at no point during the weekend do I tell my knight, "go do the dishes." I go on about my weekend with no concern for the dishes or cooking. I expect him to just handle it. Except.. I also like my knight to be with me, and do as I ask him all weekend. We go hiking, we go out, we go wander around our garden, he sits with me as I knit, he does the chores I ask of him... and then dishes don't get done because at no point will he say "Babe, I need to go do the dishes."  For him the priority is what I say NOW, not what I said three hours or ago, or the established expectations.

What I need from him is BOTH.  I am not about to worry about cooking or dishes on the weekends. That is his job. But,  as far as I'm concerned, it's perfectly okay for him to say, "Babe, I need an hour to go wash dishes and clean the kitchen," or "I need to go start dinner at 5pm."  And he won't do it because as he tells me he things of his place as by my side, doing exactly what I want him to do at the time.

So, my challenge.. the one thing that will make the biggest difference in our marriage is for me to find a way to get him to understand that while I expect, even require, him to do as I ask, there are times that it's okay for him to do what I need him to do, instead of what I *want* him to do, and he has to understand the difference.











5 comments:

  1. I know this post is a few months old now, but thank you for sharing.

    I struggle quite a bit with severe depression and go unmedicated. It can put some stress on our relationship but the FLR-D/s dynamic is a great stabilizing point for me that helps keep things in check. I will admit it is somewhat of a heavy burden to place on her.

    Hopefully this wave of things has passed by now, but if you are faced with a similar situation where you will be separated for more than a day while his depression is kicking up, I have a suggestion that might work in the future. Give him a daily assignment that centers around you that can be sent via email. It could be the same assignment each day or mixing things up. The purpose of the assignment should be to get him out of his head and thinking about you, so keeping them open-ended is often a good thing. A few ideas:
    -Find a picture that he thinks will make you happy, send that and write at least X number of words about why he chose it.
    -Write about something he could do for you when you get back that would make you smile.

    You could give him a time/deadline you wanted it sent by if you wanted to, and/or "grade" his work (A-F, pass/fail, etc.).

    A sub's depression spiral can get pretty bad. We get wrapped up in it and lose focus. When this is pointed out, we feel guilty for it and the guilt feeds the depression and so on. The assignments should force him to get out of his head and get focused on you.

    (I hit the reply word limit, to be continued)

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  2. (continued from previous comment)

    The inability to act without instructions is a tougher one and the solutions are a bit juvenile but effective. For things like the dishes and cooking example, having him keep a daily chore chart (making one that spans a week is better if certain days include regular things that aren't present during the rest of the week, e.g. Wednesday pick up dry cleaning. At the end of the day you would sign off on it noting that things were either completed or incomplete. Attaching some form of incentives or punishments is needed to give the chart some weight and punishments are probably more appropriate if they are things he already knows he's supposed to do. After a while with the chart, it will ideally train him to keep everything on the list in the back of his mind at all times and be more aware that he must find the time to take care of them, especially if he knows it will be unpleasant if he doesn't. The upside of this method is that it requires relatively little work on your part, and a lot more work on his.

    As for training independence, proactive thinking, and acting in anticipation of your needs, that can be relatively easy as well, but will probably require a carrot of some sort. Let him know you want him to start acting more independently in that manner and give him some examples. Each time he correctly anticipates your needs and acts without instruction, give him X "points." If he tries to anticipate them and does poorly (or if you can sense he is simply trying to earn more points in an empty way), subtract Y points. If he reaches Z points, he receives some form of reasonable reward. How to track this is up in the air, but a notepad would work or if you wanted to make it a ritual, coins, poker chips, beads, etc. are other options.

    e.g. If he brings you that herbal remedy at the proper time without being asked, he earns 2 coins. At 10 coins he gets a reward. If he does something wrong or at the wrong time, subtract 1 coin.

    The penalty should be lesser than the reward in order to encourage effort rather than discourage it. The reward can be something very benign (e.g. an activity you both enjoy) but it will feel more important because he "earned" it by acting outside of his normal self.

    This too takes relatively little effort on your part and puts most of the weight on him. As long as you notice it when it happens, doing something small like writing +2 with your initials in his notepad is a relatively minor price to pay for his overall behavior evolving.

    Unfortunately the planning for these types of things seems to fall into the woman even if the labor is done by the man. I hope this could help.

    Take care.

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  3. I also get down. Suffer a fair bit of what I would call continuing mild depression.

    One thing that helps me is to "live in the present". I find I tend to get moody when think too much about the past or the possible future. It takes a conscious effort for me to think to myself that whatever I am doing at that instant is enjoyable. It is then quite quick that I stop brooding and feel better - maybe he could try that.

    In the FLR thing, I think what I wish for is knowing she cares and is willing to go along with it. I realise that really there is a contradiction there in terms of the concept of FLR. For me I would like an achievable list of duties and a dam good spanking. Actually a nice spanking if I achieve and flaming insane hard whipping if I don't.

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  4. Thanks to both of you for your comments. We're still here, still together, and still trying to get through this.



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    Replies
    1. It's good to hear from you, Angelique. I hope things are going a bit better.

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