I managed to piss off Mrs. Lion. We were having a conversation and I wasn’t doing a good job communicating. It was an emotionally loaded subject that upset me to discuss. The topic isn’t important. I apologized after we went back to doing our own thing. She wasn’t terribly receptive. I mentioned, apropos of my post yesterday, that this seemed like a situation where I earned punishment. In a doubtful tone, she said, “I suppose so.”
Her lack of conviction about punishing me said less about the seriousness of the situation than it did about how useful she must think domestic discipline is for her. There was no question that she was visibly angry at me. I got the strong feeling that she doesn’t think of punishing me as any more than something I want her to do.
I’ve had this feeling before. After all, she is nearly perfect in spotting and punishing offenses like spilling food or eating first. Just this past weekend, I forgot to remind her that Saturday was punishment day. She was ready to pounce right after my deadline for telling her. Yet when I truly upset her, the idea of punishing me didn’t seem to cross her mind.
She isn’t doing something wrong. I don’t believe that she isn’t bought into domestic discipline. I think the issue goes far deeper. I think that after a lifetime of holding her feelings back, it doesn’t feel right to express them. One of the reasons I want us to practice DD is to give Mrs. Lion an immediate, direct way of expressing her anger at me.
I believe that holding feelings back can eventually poison the well. Feelings have to go somewhere. Sooner or later they have to get expressed. The question is how? I’m convinced that the healthiest way is via the domestic discipline channel. We have some evidence to support this: When I don’t prepare the coffee pot for breakfast, Mrs. Lion has to do it in the morning when she is rushing to get to work. It’s an annoyance. If DD wasn’t in place, she would almost certainly say nothing and just do the work herself. I am absolutely certain this would annoy her. It would certainly annoy me if the situation was reversed.
With our DD, if I forget she lets me know that I will be punished. She knows that by spanking me she is providing an incentive not to repeat the offense. She also gets a bit of a positive feeling from catching me. She genuinely enjoys discovering me offending. Obviously, there is no deep, emotional issue brought up when I forget to get the coffee ready. That’s not the case when I upset her in a conversation.
We both know that domestic discipline works for us. Where Mrs. Lion applies it, I improve. Yes, I backslide sometimes, but that is handled in a fair, dispassionate way by spanking me. It’s effective for both of us. I don’t think there is any reason to assume it wouldn’t be equally effective if applied to those emotional issues that Mrs. Lion tends to avoid.
It’s probably up to me to spot those situations and suggest punishing me when they come up. It may feel a bit like topping from the bottom, but it’s actually self-reporting. The thing is that I am not the best reporter. I probably only notice the more serious incidents. Still, it’s a start. I have faith in Mrs. Lion’s ability to adapt and grow.