After Mrs. Lion read my post yesterday (“Time For Her To Take A Stand“), she agreed that it would be difficult to enforce more serious rules. We didn’t have much time to talk about it. My sense is that it’s one thing to punish me for things that aren’t very important to either of us but another to enforce rules that represent real behavioral issues.
This must be why I am rarely punished for interrupting. I thought it was because she wanted to be fair and didn’t want to spank me because her general mood was bad. I see now that it’s something else. All of the rules she has enforced to date represent relatively small stuff: eating before she starts, spilling food, not setting up the coffee pot, and leaving the shower door open. None of those offenses challenge my role or judge me on a deeper level.
I can’t know how other couples operate beyond what I read in various blogs. I get the sense that disciplined husbands ask for domestic discipline in the context of behaviors that caused conflicts in the marriage. Things like drinking too much and behaving in ways that may have caused fights in the past. Domestic discipline is a way to resolve these problems without the heavy emotional pain that unresolved arguing causes. Above all, that spanking closes the book on the particular problem. Introducing spanking is a way to improve harmony.
Mrs. Lion and I don’t fight. We may have had a few disagreements, but they never rise to the level of angry arguments. That doesn’t mean I am a perfect husband. Mrs. Lion is a very forgiving wife and sees the good in me instead of focusing on my faults. I see her the same way. In that sense, domestic discipline isn’t strictly needed for our marriage.
We started it because I thought it would make a good thing better. Mrs. Lion never saw it that way. She agreed that it was something I wanted badly and saw no harm in enforcing some rules. It’s clear that she never considered it a relationship tool. That doesn’t mean she isn’t serious about it. She is absolutely consistent in punishing me when I break a rule. Her spankings are severe and absolutely no fun for me.
When I asked her to expand her disciplinary role to cover behaviors we both know aren’t good for me, she hasn’t said yes. It can’t be because she minds punishing me. She spanks me with impunity. She said it is her goal to make me hurt as much as possible for the duration of the spanking and to make it hurt for days afterward. She usually does. If it isn’t feelings about spanking me, it’s feelings about being in the position of correcting me outside of the rather trivial rules we already have.
correcting my behavior isn’t changing our marital roles
I suspect that she doesn’t want to be the boss. Escalating punishment to cover things like interrupting, being snippy, a know-it-all, or arrogant might be seen as giving her power she doesn’t want. I get it. I don’t think our roles change because she can punish me. Here’s why. We both agree that spanking is an effective way to get me to learn things. We’ve proven that over and over as I stop breaking rules, she’s made. I learn when she uses her paddles.
As I see it, extending the rules to consistently cover behavioral problems is no different than training me to close the shower door. My position in our marriage doesn’t change. I still make most of the decisions. All that changes is that she has a new set of opportunities to catch me and punish me. She likes catching me. I get the real benefit. If she is consistent, my behavior will change. I want that. Helping me change things we agree need modification isn’t making her my mommy. It just expands her role as my loving teacher. I’m still the lion; maybe a little sore, but still the same critter I was before I learned to be a better man.