When we started domestic discipline, Mrs. Lion created easy-to-break rules that were meant to help us learn to incorporate domestic discipline into our marriage. The rules were useful but not exactly life-changing. They covered some basic manners and simple chores. They met their goal and firmly established DD in our lives. They also established a pattern that may have hurt our disciplinary evolution.
Mrs. Lion said that a big reason she spanks me is that’s the way I learn. It’s true. Even when she wasn’t spanking very hard or long, I stopped breaking those little rules. I didn’t consciously work to avoid breaking them. I just stopped. Spanking me is effective for behavior modification. I think she recognized this before I did. She never discussed it with me.
Those little rules and her enforcement taught us more than the value of spanking me. It taught Mrs. Lion the importance of rigid consistency. Regardless of how trivial, if I am expected to follow a rule, and I miss, I get a full punishment spanking. At times that felt unfair, but she punished me. This helped create very healthy disciplinary habits, but I think it also diverted our attention from a key aspect of domestic discipline.
Mrs. Lion only created rules around very specific chores that had no emotional loading. For example, my most recent rule is to always keep the shower door closed. It’s a good rule. If the door is left open, the dog gets in and makes a mess. There’s no risk I will be angry or hurt because she enforces it. The need is obvious and I have no emotional investment in the shower door. The rule is risk-free.
Every so often, she has mentioned things she should enforce, like an exercise program for me. Even though she has mentioned and written about this, she’s never done it. The benefit to me is obvious, and it wouldn’t be difficult for her to set it up for me. I don’t know exactly why she hasn’t, but I suspect there may be two big reasons. The first is that she isn’t exercising and may feel it is unfair to require me to do something she isn’t. The second is that she may think it would be hard for me to do. She’s right. Perhaps she’s a little worried that I will refuse, and she might not be able to firmly order me to the spanking bench.
Mrs. Lion doesn’t like to be prescriptive. She is laid back and happy to let things just happen. I love that about her. I also think that it would be better for me if she weren’t quite so forgiving. I’m a combination of alpha and procrastinator. In many areas of my life I charge ahead and get things done. In others, I’m happy to put things off. Is it any wonder Mrs. Lion and I fit so well?
That brings me back to our approach to domestic discipline. I saw it as a way to assure that Mrs. Lion has a strong voice in our marriage. Maybe that was just my ego talking. She sees it differently. Her take is that it is the way I learn. She’s right. Now that we’ve established a real value for it, she’s stuck with applying that value to helping me learn. There’s her challenge.
So far, I’ve been full of helpful and not-so-helpful suggestions. I’m probably the worst source of ideas on how I need to improve. I don’t have the obvious problems of drinking and staying out late. I have others and I know she is aware of them. I also know that the way I’ve suggested she apply DD is based on my original assumption of empowering her. I think that’s my biggest mistake.
She doesn’t feel the need to be empowered any more than she is. She doesn’t want to change her role. I keep pushing her to change her mind. For example, I suggested that since she hates it when I interrupt her, she should punish me when I do. The problem with that statement is that I am saying the reason to punish me is because it annoys her when I interrupt. I’m telling her to punish me because of how I affect her. Well, I suppose that is a very good reason. It isn’t the best one.
If she and I agree that DD is a great teaching tool for me, then shouldn’t she be using it to teach me? She could teach me not to annoy her, but she clearly doesn’t feel that is a goal she wants to achieve. I finally realized that it isn’t the one that makes the most sense for me either. Interrupting is rude. Shouldn’t I learn not to do it? Of course, it annoys her. It also annoys everyone else. Duh!
Mrs. Lion can teach me to stop. She can teach me all sorts of good things, things that will make me a better, healthier person. That’s why spanking me every time I interrupt her is important. It doesn’t matter if I annoy her or not. It’s an undesirable behavior that she can extinguish. Teaching me to exercise on the treadmill every day is going to extend my life. Getting me to avoid arrogance and know-it-all behavior will make me a better person.
Domestic discipline is about educating me. When Mrs. Lion has no emotional investment in a rule–like the coffee pot or shower door–she has no trouble enforcing it. If she considers things like rudeness or disregard for my health, they aren’t about her. They are about me and improving my life. Aren’t those the very best reasons to spank me?