Hi RH...everything you said could be coming right from Obsidian. I think that this is why message board can be a bit intimidating for Obsidian...lots and lots of information...information overload. I wish there was a way to explain things to her in 10 words or less or if there was a little handy-dandy chart to say what I needed and where I was coming from.
One of the things that I figured out recently is that part of the problem is that I think that Tops and bottoms are wired differently. The Golden Rule can not apply to Top/bottom interactions, because I know for a fact that Obsidian would absolutely *hate* being treated the way I want her to treat me...and I would absolutely *hate* her interacting with me the way she likes me to interact with her. I have noticed this in other situations. Sometimes when interacting with authority figures in real life who do some "Topping" of us...Obsidian will find it completely annoying, but, depending on the person and the situation, I might like it. Don't get me wrong...I love her more than anything, and would not want anyone but her, but I am talking about my automatic response to things.
With respect to bottoms giving information, this is really tricky....because I think that there is a fine line between giving your Top information they need to know and "topping from the bottom." I know from my end, I have absolutely no problem giving Obsidian information, and then some, but for things to really "work", I have to be able to relax, step back, and let Obsidian do her thing. If I am in a mindset where, even silently, I am analyzing and critiquing what she is doing, things won't feel "right", no matter what she does. The metaphor I thought of was in Dirty Dancing, where Baby and Johnny were working on lifts. There was no question that Johnny knew what he was doing, but the lift could not work unless Baby let go, relaxed, and could avoid tensing up even unconsciously. A moment of panic from Baby could destroy the entire lift. Now, of course, in order to do that, Baby had to have confidence that Johnny was strong enough and steady enough to lift her....but, despite appearances, Baby had just as much of a role in making the lift work as Johnny did. If she was busy analyzing his stance and whether was doing things right, she could never trust enough for the lift to work.
Ah...the eternal question...when the Top screws up. One thing that I have found, is that in some ways, it really doesn't matter who was right or wrong in an argument...whether over ttwd or real life. I am incredibly good at arguing, and can twist things around to the point where I should never get punished...and my arguments can easily turn into
ing. The reality is that for almost all of the arguments Obsidian and I have (most of which are *extremely* silly...i.e., the dinner argument above)...maintaining the dynamic is *far* more important than the underlying issue. And frankly, I usually did, at least at some point, do something that deserved discipline...if only by being disrespectful. If a cop pulls me over, even wrongfully, and I am disrespectful to the cop, I am likely to be arrested. Often, I am arguing because I want to be "heard" and "validated"...but, even when arguing, I know for the dynamic to work...I have to lose. If I win, in the long term, both of us lose...by Obsidian's decreased confidence, and my decreased respect. By disciplining me, she is protecting the dynamic; by talking with me afterward, she makes me feel "heard". Both acts make me feel loved.