Talking to real world people about ttwd

Whether we call it "domestic discipline" or "rules" or "structure" or just "getting our needs met." This is a spot for those meta discussions about what it is that we do.

Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby Ice-cream » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:11 am

As much as it's nice to be able to post on a website and share thoughts and ideas with people from all over the world, there are times when I feel a bit lonely and think it would be nice to be able to discuss ttwd with family or friends. I chat about all sorts with my mother and she is a fantastic source of sound advice and encouragement, and I'd love to be able to confide in her, or talk to a friend when I'm struggling with an aspect of this.
Recently a friend asked a few of us for advice on a dispute she was having with her husband. She wanted to do A, he wanted to do B and things had escalated to the point of him ordering her to do B. Everyone but me advised her to go ahead and do A. How dare he tell her what to do! Once she did it, he'd like it, he just had to be shown! It affected her more than him so she should decide! Don't let him treat you like that! Who does he think he is! ignore him, what does he know?My initial reaction was to consider why he wanted B, to consider the cost/benefit to the relationship of giving in or defying him...(If Himself gave me an order, I'd just do what I was told, but then he doesn't give orders lightly). I wasn't about to suggest to my friend that she submit to her husband full stop, but just suggest that the strident feminist approach isn't the only one. But I hesitated and then said nothing.
And yesterday I was with a group of female relatives, of whom I was the youngest, sharing stories from their marriages and passing tips and titbits of wisdom to me. And I felt I had nothing to contribute. Himself gives me so little to complain about; he's not perfect but he's wonderful. And if I admitted that he spanks me, I'd have been locked up in my old bedroom until I came to my senses, and they'd have seen him off with a volley of frying pans and rolling pins.
Of course the bigger picture is that I love him and we are very happy....and I'm never happier than when ttwd is going well. But........I suppose what I'm saying is that I feel ttwd cuts me off from that kind of female closeness, and I regret that.
I also don't feel that I can really offer my point of view. In the situation with my mother and aunts, these are women who have been married for decades. What they do has worked! I don't know anyone in my situation, so I don't know if I'm on a short road to nowhere. People online claim to be married for decades and living this lifestyle but I can't verify that.
Do any of you have real world friends who know what you do, or are in a similar situation themselves?
And for those, like me who don't, does it bother you at all?
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby Louise » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:39 pm

I don't really feel a need to talk about DD to people I know in real life. i have met a few people I got to know through DD sites on the internet, but when we met, although we got on pretty well, we didn't actually talk much about DD.

I regard it as something personal that other people don't need to be told about, and I don't think most of them would undestand it anyway. My husband has occasionally said something bossy to me in front of other people, which I don't really mind so long as he is good humoured about it, but he has never mentioned the S word. I prefer on the whole that the DD thing we kept private,

I think though if a situation arose like the one you describe, I might advise a friend that perhaps she should discuss things further with her husband, that there often needs to be compromise in marriage etc. But that is probably about as far as I would go.

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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby bodack » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:17 pm

It is not just the "S" word as Louise puts it. A friend of mine has always made a point of having a hot meal on the table when here husband got home, even when she worked.

She has caught a lot of flack about that. The comments mostly run along the lines of " let him make his own damn dinner".

This is a thread from another site that covers your complaints from a different angle. The original poster was looking for help just like you.

Maybe the the replies will help.

http://takeninhand.com/forum/a.black.and.white.issue
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby splorange » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:22 pm

None of my family or real life friends know that I practise ttwd. Between my wonderful chief and this board, I feel I have enough people with whom to discuss the things that occur to me. I can appreciate your sense of aloneness though, in not feeling bonded with the other women in your life. I think because the most important women in my life are my mother and sister, both of whom are single, we just don't discuss relationships all that much, and consequently I don't feel that I'm always holding back this big secret.

With regard to the situation you bring up. Despite being a submissive woman, I'm a diehard feminist and I would never accept an order from a man, unless it was an agreed part of our relationship that he was entitled to give me orders. I think the couple in question were communicating badly, but her husband was behaving worse than her, in ordering her to do what he wanted, and I think it would be wrong to give into that. All it would show is that he can get his way by ordering her to do something. She should certainly look at changing how they resolve disputes, but it's important that both partners are on board with something like that, otherwise one of them can easily just become a doormat. There is one couple I know though that I often want to advise to take up ttwd! The woman is particularly irritating, whiny and domineering, while the man is a close friend of mine who has given up a lot for her. I ALWAYS want to tell him to just spank her!!

Like you, I wonder too how long a ttwd relationship is viable for us. I get the impression, ice-cream, that you feel a strong reaction against the male-deriding perspective that's common among the women you are close to, and that a lot of ttwd for you is about redressing that balance. I have a common ground, as I was also brought up to understand that men can rarely be relied on to get anything done and that women are a much safer and more responsible bet. This feeling is still very strong in me, to be honest. It's probably just coincidental that most of the men I know aren't as capable or practical as the women. Or I cherry-pick evidence, subconsciously ignoring examples of impractical women or dedicated men because they don't fit my theory. I do try not to be biased and i don't think I am in my daily life. But if I was actually asked whether deep down, I would be more likely to trust a man or a woman to get a job done, I would have to say a woman. I also see how common casual misogyny is, everywhere, and it's hard not to react against this, and I do wonder - am I betraying my feminism? One thing that does work for me, and maybe would for you too, is thinking of it as a specific relationship that works for the two of us, and has nothing to do with women or men in general. It's our own particular relationship dynamic that suits ttwd, and the fact that he is a male top and I am a female bottom is just a coincidence.
'I had made the mistake of powering up my consciousness without having the appropriate scaffolding in place'

Marni Jackson, 'Pain'
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby lana » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:51 pm

Hi Ice Cream
I do miss not being able to talk to my sister or mom about ttwd, It was always i have to hide everything when they come over and I have to be sure my computer everything was erased or put away. I think the closer you are with your female relatives the more this need for secrecy becomes irritating. If you dont have that kind of confiding , close relationship then you arent going to feel your often censoring what you say first-- but if you did you might.. i mean my sister and I (till she died of cancer) were close and supportive of each other

As to the question regarding the woman that IceCream mentioned, Im the odd man (woman) out here. I would have suggested that she follow her husbands wish because by giving in, he will in turn then give her her way. Otherwise the whole marriage turns into a competition that inevitably no one wins. Sort of like two kids in a power struggle over a toy and then one says take it then and walks off --pretty soon the other child will be following the walker and saying he wants to share it or does she care to play with another of his toys too..

I would also tell this hypothetical woman that the importance in the long run is what you did together as a team, not who won each argument over how to do it. I wouldnt have to mention DD-but i could say that the 2 major issues that we fought over and he ended up getting his way im glad he did, looking back on it. In one of them (whether to give our children a small allowance or not)most people would have agree i was correct but it turned out not to make the slightest difference.

lana :world:

ps--Yes DD relationships do last a long time for some.
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby Eayore » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:21 pm

I don't recall discussing this stuff with friends or family. Somehow it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing to bring up in casual conversation.

For that reason, I don't know whether any of my (non-internet) friends practise TTWD. I can't think of any who might, but then again logically there must be some who do.

Does it bother me? Not really. I think I am quite happy with the thought that it's a 'private' thing.
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby Nat » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:02 am

Ice-cream wrote:.... Recently a friend asked a few of us for advice on a dispute she was having with her husband. She wanted to do A, he wanted to do B and things had escalated to the point of him ordering her to do B. Everyone but me advised her to go ahead and do A. How dare he tell her what to do! Once she did it, he'd like it, he just had to be shown! It affected her more than him so she should decide! Don't let him treat you like that! Who does he think he is! ignore him, what does he know?My initial reaction was to consider why he wanted B, to consider the cost/benefit to the relationship of giving in or defying him...(If Himself gave me an order, I'd just do what I was told, but then he doesn't give orders lightly). I wasn't about to suggest to my friend that she submit to her husband full stop, but just suggest that the strident feminist approach isn't the only one. But I hesitated and then said nothing. ......

Do any of you have real world friends who know what you do, or are in a similar situation themselves?
And for those, like me who don't, does it bother you at all?


None of my friends know about ttwd. Liz's mom, sisters, and two other people know, but I don't discuss it with them. It doesn't bother me - I know wwd is outside the "norm" and difficult to understand for anyone who doesn't do it. For me the virtual discussions here are probably better than any "real" discussions would be anyway.

I know it's not the point of the post, but I have to say I don't think the advice your friend was getting represented a "strident feminist approach". I know there are still "husband / man gets to make the decisions" people and relationships out there, so maybe in the husband-wife dynamic it can still be considered a feminist approach, but in most relationships - whether m/f or,for example, the many lesbian couples we're friends with - neither partner has the right to "order" the other to do something. (I would guess that if your friend had ordered her husband to do A, a different group of people would have given him the same advice.)

Liz does have that right to some extent in our relationship, of course - even though we're both feminists - but that's because we've decided to do ttwd.
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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby splorange » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:09 pm

I agree very strongly with Nat. To me the fact that the husband ordered his wife to do what he wanted, even though she hadn't granted him permission to do that, was the deal breaker. In general I think it's a good acid test to look at a situation with the genders reversed to see if your reaction is different - if it is then probably one of your reactions is based on gender roles! I do think lana makes a very good point as well - nobody is going to win in this situation without somebody first backing down, and it's never a bad idea to be more flexible. But I'm just not sure that he is going to agree to do what she wants once she gives in.

I have to say, Nat, I think it's really cool that Liz's family know what you do! Mine would be seriously confused, and I doubt my mum would be one bit happy.
'I had made the mistake of powering up my consciousness without having the appropriate scaffolding in place'

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Re: Talking to real world people about ttwd

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:50 am

W and I have a handful of friends who know we do discipline. In our case, we can kind of explain it away because I'm multiple, and the context in which several friends found out was when teenaged parts had been acting out, and got grounded. (For someone who hardly goes out, you wouldn't think being grounded would be such a problem, but it really does seem to be a good deterrent.)

So the explanation was at least in part that the discipline was in place for those younger parts of my system.

We've also discussed ttwd in therapy, although not as much as W would like. For us, we've found that focusing on aspects like the structures of communication and ironing out problems in our relationship tend to make it easier to talk about the things we use ttwd for, both with therapists and with our friends. We don't necessarily bring up spankings, but we have suggested to friends that it's worth it to take time to regularly check in with each other and work on finding ways of resolving conflict where both of us can be happy. And once our therapists saw that aspect of ttwd for us, they seemed much more comfortable with the concept.
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