While my family and I (Clint) were on vacation last month, I asked if there was anything you, the reader, wanted to see become part of Learning Domestic Discipline. There were a lot of wonderful suggestions from many of you, and I thank those of you who offered your ideas so very much. I’d like to make many of your suggestions a part of LDD sometime in the near future.
One of the suggestions was interviewing other bloggers (suggested by Cowgirl Up), and this post is the first in what I hope will become a series of interviews of fellow bloggers around blogland.
What better blogger to start with than my amazing, talented, wickedly smart, and stunningly beautiful wife Chelsea.
I wrote the following questions for her to answer. They’re questions I think most people would like to know about her, but if there is a question you’d like to see answered by my wife in a future interview, by all means ask it in the comments. If and when we do a Chelsea interview part two, I’ll be sure to include it in her questions.
Okay, enough of me talking. Let’s get to the Chelsea interview!
1) – Those in the lifestyle seem quick to talk about all the benefits of practicing domestic discipline. What are some of the negatives of living the lifestyle?
I think, like most things in this lifestyle, it varies a lot from person to person, or couple to couple. Personally, I find the biggest negative to be the punishments. I can see the benefit of them (definitely, otherwise I wouldn’t want DD) but there are nights where I’m honestly just too tired to get spanked, or I have a headache, etc. I never want discipline and I can always think of a thousand excuses why it should wait, but it just seems like some nights are worse than others and getting spanked (or corner time, or writing lines, etc.) is the last thing I really want to do. So, I think the worst is just the punishments. They have a lot of benefits but also a lot of negatives.
However, for a lot of people I think the biggest negative is feeling really alone within the lifestyle. I’ve heard that numerous times, and I understand it. Prior to me “coming out” and telling everyone, I would have said that was the biggest negative too, by far. When you feel like you can’t communicate about it with ANYONE and just have to bottle it up it can be awful.
2) – How does practicing domestic discipline not make you feel like a child?
This is one of the hardest answers for me to put into words. I don’t know why. I wrote a blog on it once (which you can check out here) but even then I still don’t feel like it conveyed my thoughts 100%. The best way I can answer it is I think it’s a combination of the following elements that make me not feel like a child even in the slightest.
The first is the amount of communication before hand, and how that communication is delivered. The words, actions, thought processes, etc. are all very adult-like. My husband doesn’t speak to me like a child, and I think that is the biggest reason why I don’t feel like a child. He talks to me like his wife.
The second reason is because I consented to this tool in our marriage, and I know that I could withdraw consent at any time. It’s a consensual act.
The third reason is because the concept of discipline is not what makes someone treated like a child. Being treated like a child is, in my opinion, the opposite of that. If I look at how my husband and I raise our son it’s very different than how my husband would treat me. For instance- our son is on a pretty strict schedule (naps, playtime, play group, bath time, eating time, bed time, etc. etc. etc.) whereas I do what I want. Our son doesn’t dress himself, or pick out his own clothes (because he is 1) whereas my husband doesn’t even go on my side of the closet. I could literally spend hours sitting here listing out the differences but it shouldn’t be difficult for people to see the differences between a man being a husband to his wife, and a man being a father to his child. They are very different dynamics both emotionally, physically, intellectually, etc.
3) – If you had a few minutes to talk to someone who is adamantly against the idea of domestic discipline – someone who immediately claims it to be abuse and/or domestic violence – what would you say to that person?
I would tell them to read this entry! I think it perfectly conveys the difference between domestic discipline and domestic violence and domestic discipline vs. abuse.
I would also do my best to explain to them that domestic discipline is consensual, loving, talked through, and brings people together. I feel like domestic violence does the opposite. In addition, I’ve never known 1 DD couple (and trust me, I’ve met/talked to hundreds) who has said “domestic discipline has just been awful for me” and that couple doesn’t have any underlying issues (such as alcohol, drugs, or an abusive past being involved with DD). Domestic discipline was created to help relationship issues (in my opinion) where as domestic violence is not well thought out, not communicated, not consensual, tears people apart, etc. The differences are astronomical. You aren’t even comparing things from the same category.
4) – What is your best advice for a couple just beginning with the domestic discipline lifestyle?
Well, I have three things. The first is to not try to mold it, or copy it, like other domestic discipline relationships. Each and every single couple is going to practice DD differently. Some may be drastically different, while some only have a few minor differences but the bottom line is no two couples practice the same. Don’t get discouraged if domestic discipline in your relationship is a little different than your friend who practices DD in theirs. Shape and mold DD into a tool that is best for your relationship.
The second piece of advice I have is to not rush into anything. Definitely ease into DD in the beginning. I recommend beginning by making a rule list with basic rules and “problem area” rules and then making a basic punishment list (a lot of people even leave the spanking aspect out in the beginning, which I can understand doing if the leadership/authority and submissive foundations haven’t even been laid yet) and working from there. Just don’t be in a hurry to jump right into the “extras” like maintenance spankings and all the other hundred different “add ons” you can do with DD. Start with the very basics.
The third piece of advice I have is to do a trial period. The length of time can be determined by you, and your partner, but I always say that 30 days (1 month) is pretty reasonable because it’s long enough to truly experience it but short enough to not feel like you’re stuck in this forever if you hate it. During that 1 month trial, both parties should be willing to agree to give DD their all, and then reconvene at the end of the month and both parties should mutually agree whether to implement DD as a part of their relationship, or walk away. The trial period is great for several reasons but I think the biggest reason is that it allows couples to “sample” DD and learn more about it before committing. It’s kind of like test driving a car before you purchase it.
5) – How do you plan to handle your domestic discipline lifestyle around your child(ren) as they grow up?
I’m still not 100% sure on this. It’s something that I want to talk to my husband, in depth about, when our child is a little older. So, I’m not sure yet.
6) – Is there one specific thing that helped you to agree to domestic discipline? If not something specific, what made you agree to live this way?
It wasn’t one specific thing, but I think the biggest “turning point” for me was how it made me feel. A little while into my husband and I agreeing to try DD I began to feel a lot happier both with my marriage and myself. Domestic discipline made me feel like a much better wife. It gave me the motivation to strive to be a better wife. When I began to see, and feel, those changes I knew DD was for me and when I began to see how much happier it made my husband, and how it really helped him handle conflict better, then I knew DD was for us.
7) – What is the worst/hardest thing about being in a domestic discipline marriage?
I think the worst thing about being in a DD marriage are the feelings of regret, disappointment and guilt that can come into play after I break a rule. I hate regretting decisions that I’ve made that led up to the rules being broken, and I hate the feeling that I let both my husband and myself down. Domestic discipline has a lot of emotions involved in general and most of them are positive- but the negative emotions are really the worst part of DD for me because the emotions take awhile to heal. It takes me awhile to get over the fact that I got punished and it’s hard for me to not beat myself up over the mistake that I made.
There are 2 hardest parts, and I can’t really decide which is harder so I’m going to list both.
The first is trying to explain domestic discipline to people who are against it. Explaining it to people who haven’t heard of it before has gotten easier for me, over the years. But explaining it to people who are flat out against it is still really difficult for me. It’s something that can be really challenging, frustrating, and just all around hard.
The second hardest thing is peoples perceptions of my husband sometimes. I’m naturally very defensive of my husband, like most people are. It bothers me a lot sometimes when people talk about him in what they appear to be an innocent manner, but doesn’t come across that way always. Things like “oh my gosh your husband is so strict!” “wow you must get spanked extremely hard!” etc. really bother me because it isn’t like that. It bothers me when people assume things, I guess is the most basic way to put it. My husband is very consistent. But I don’t think people need to confuse consistent with strict, because those are two different things. Also, what is on my husbands blog is a example or template that people looking for help, or more information about, DD can take and shape into their own relationships. It is not specifically how we do it. The perceptions and false assumptions of my husband make DD really hard for me, and make helping others with DD in the form of blogs, the network, chatting, etc. difficult for me. But, I’m working on just letting it go.
8) – What is the best/easiest thing about being in a domestic discipline marriage?
It’s really hard to pinpoint just one thing that I would consider the best thing about being in a DD marriage. There are so many things I love about it. However, I think the best is probably the way it improved our marriage. My husband and I are fortunate to never have had a bad, or rocky, marriage. But domestic discipline really enhanced the downfalls that we did have in our marriage. DD is a very small part of our marriage, but it’s an important part because it helps to develop and enhance marital qualities that I feel are really important such as communication, respect, authority and submissiveness, and more. It really enhanced or strengthened a lot of those features for us.
I think the easiest thing about being in a DD marriage is to not fight and never go to bed angry with each other. DD is excellent at opening communication lines which means it is excellent at solving conflict. So, it’s really easy to not fight and rarely ever argue with my husband because when we feel like we’re even close to getting to that point, DD can intervene and it’s actually amazing the results. For example- if we disagree and I start yelling, being disrespectful, not listening, etc. in a lot of marriages that would escalate into an argument. However, in a DD marriage that would get me punished and while that definitely sucks at that moment, afterwards it really changes my behavior and then the conversation goes so much better. On the flip side, if my husband is driving me crazy or doing something I can’t stand instead of it turning into an argument I am 100% confident that I can approach him with it in the correct way and he will respond and handle the situation appropriately because he is the leader of our house. So it’s a win-win situation. It’s so easy for me (or, us) to not argue/fight/or most importantly- go to bed upset with each other. I’m not saying we’re perfect at it, but I do think it’s very easy.
9) – Obviously there is a lot more to you than the fact you’re in a domestic discipline marriage. What are some of your interests? Movies, TV shows, music interests, foods, etc.?
My favorite interests are traveling, cooking, sports, reading, shopping, and Pinterest! I think I’m addicted to that site. Speaking of which, if I’m not following your Pinterest boards email me and let me know and I will! Also, if you don’t already have a Pinterest account and want one, contact me and I will send you an invite (it’s an invite only site).
My favorite movies are Remember the Titans, The Hangover, Meet the Parents, Taken, Inside Man and anything that makes me laugh. I love funny movies (which is why The Hangover is on my list because I really think that’s one of the greatest comedies ever). Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are my favorite comedy actors so any movie with them in it I will probably love.
My favorite TV shows are all over the place, lol. I like a variety of things. I like sports a lot (especially NFL, college football and baseball). I also really like reality TV shows like Master Chef, The Amazing Race, Teen Mom and Million Dollar Listing. And, I watch Army Wives like every week. I love that show.
My favorite band is The Fray. I also really like Incubus, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, and a whole lot more. I also listen to country sometimes (my favorites are Lee Brice, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney). Oh, and since Scotty McCreery lives here in North Carolina like us, I listen to him sometimes too.
My favorite food is Thai food. I could eat Thai food all the time. In all honesty though, I’m the least pickiest eater on the planet. The list of foods I don’t eat are pretty basic. I’ve traveled throughout most of the world and that’s allowed me to eat food from all different cultures and I’ve discovered that really, I like almost everything. Thai food, steak, lasagna, and burritos are my favorites.
For the “etc” part I’ll just say: I’m a diehard Texas Longhorns fan. I went to University of Texas for undergrad and grad school and I love the Longhorns (and, Texas in general!). I really like smoothies and Starbucks, although I primarily just drink bottled water all day long. I absolutely love the store Nordstrom. I have an obsession with cooking – I watch cooking shows, read cookbooks and subscribe to cooking magazines like you wouldn’t believe. There’s a few random facts for you.
10) – What made you decide to write a blog and be so open about the fact that you practice domestic discipline?
I think what made me decide to be so open about domestic discipline was the fact that I knew it would help people, and I love helping people. It started with my friends casually asking about it, then once I told them and saw how they reacted (either not surprised because they’d heard of it before/already did it, understanding, curious, etc) it made me want to tell everyone because I saw how it had helped them once they tried it. Starting a blog, and reaching out to people, was something that I really wanted to do because I wanted to give people a place to go who are struggling with some aspects of DD, wanted more information, or are new to the lifestyle. Both my husband and I’s goal is to help people in this lifestyle who are from all walks of life and provide or create resources to help people who are new, curious, or struggling. I don’t want anyone to feel alone in DD.
11) – If you could add an element to your current DD practices what would you add, and why?
That’s a really hard question. Probably having my husband start to enforce some sort of “bed time.” I hate that word, but I’m not sure what else to call it. Once our schedules calm down, I’d love to get in the habit of going to bed on or around one specific time each night because right now I’ve been going to bed anytime between 1-5am. So, once our schedules get better and less hectic I think it’d be beneficial to have some sort of rule about going to bed on/around a certain time each night so I’m not so ridiculously tired all day every day.
12) – How does it feel to know how madly in love your husband is with you?
It makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I truly love my life. My husband is the absolute greatest, and there isn’t a second that goes by where I forget how blessed or lucky I am to have such an absolutely amazing husband.
I’d like to thank my wife for doing the LDD interview. Like most things she does, she did an outstanding job!
My wife also interviewed me, and you can read my interview with her here.
© 2012 Learning Domestic Discipline