To be frank, if we ever manage to turn around again I'll be very surprised. I feel 'lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut' and I truly don't know what to do to rectify the situation - or even if I want to rectify it.
Over the last twenty four hours I seem to have gone into a tail spin from which there is no return. The ground is looming ever closer and I simply don't have the strength to pull up in time.
I thought we were fine. I knew, that it would be inevitable that there would be little bumps and cracks to cope with in the future. But I hadn't realised just how soon I would be trying to ride out an earthquake of epic proportions. I say "I" because I'm not even sure Starman felt the ground shake at all.
Yesterday was a good day apart from the fact that my grandson has caught a case of chickenpox and that means I am not able to go near him until he is declared better again. Unfortunately it is one childhood illness that I have never succumbed to. And that makes life quite difficult. Even at school the children know not to go anywhere near "Miss" if they are recovering from chickenpox!
So anyway, I spent a half hour or so after dinner, compiling a short questionnaire for Starman. I think there were only about eight questions. It's something that a good friend told me she had done in her early days, and to tell the truth it was something that I had already debated about. I felt I needed to get one or two answers, and I couldn't bring myself to ask out loud.
So I gave this list to Starman just as I was going to bed. I told him that I needed to know how he felt about certain things. I asked him not to leave the list lying around where it could be discovered. He looked a bit uncertain, but agreed to read it when I had gone upstairs.
The moon woke me up by shining directly in the bedroom window on my face, at around 2pm. I rolled over to face Starman - and he wasn't there. I sat up in bed. I heard snores coming from the spare room. I lay there, heart pounding, for at least an hour before I managed to drop off back to sleep. So many thoughts were going round my head that I thought it would burst. We only do the "spare room" thing if one of us has to be up to go somewhere exceptionally early in the morning, or if one of us is sick.
By eight o'clock Starman still hadn't surfaced, so I went downstairs and made him his usual cup of tea. I noticed that our son hadn't gone to work, and that he was still in his room. I took Starman's tea and my coffee into our room and put them down on our bedside tables. Starman got up and came into the room behind me, arranged his pillows and got into bed. I just stared at him, waiting for an explanation.
He told me he had fallen asleep downstairs and that it was so late he didn't want to disturb me. He said he felt really tired and that the late nights over the holiday had caught up with him. He sat drinking his tea as if there was nothing wrong. I mentioned that our son hadn't gone to work. "He's gotten a dose of that flue-type cold that we've all had. He's sorted his men out for the day, but he's coughing so much he's decided that they'll have to do without him today."
Oh. I settled back into my pillows. We talked generalities for a while, and then Starman said he would have to get up as he had lots to do. I looked at him and smiled. "Don't forget it's Thursday" I reminded him.
"Oh I can't do things like that today. I only spanked you Tuesday. That'll have to do this week. We can't do it anyway with No 1 Son at home. I'd be so embarrassed if he heard us. He did once you know. I can't go there again, no way. " He shrugged.
My face was a picture.
Then he started up about the questionnaire.
"What am I meant to do about that thing?" he asked. "You simply dropped it and ran."
I did my best to explain it and to say that I would value his input. I needed a little help with this 'submissive' thing. I needed to know what he really thought and felt that by giving him a questionnaire it would give him a chance to mull things over.
"But," he said "all you seem to be doing is putting things in front of me and saying 'Do this'. So instead of being submissive you are still trying to call the shots. So no maintenance, or whatever it's called, today, and that's final."
I looked at him.
My eyes started to fill. He couldn't have read the bit where I explained how much better I felt after it, and that I looked forward to it each week, and that I relied on him.
"And as far as suggesting that I help you with exercise and weight loss. And that we draw up a short list of tasks for you to do each week around the house. Or penalites! Where has all this come from?! "
So we sat while I went into the four Ds in more detail giving examples. We sat while I explained that the HOH was usually happy to ensure his TIH complied, and that he would support and encourage her. We sat while I offered to give him reading material from some of the blogs.
"Are you saying there are other people who do this then?" he demanded.
I explained that there were a great many people who found this dynamic a helpful and enriching part of their lives. And that it worked.
"Well if you think I'm going to beat you every time you slip up with a rule, you've got another think coming. It's amazing that we seem to have come this far in our marriage without this submission business."
I'm crying by now and can't speak.
"I'll bet it's that bloody book that's started all this isn't it?!" He snorts angrily.
I found my voice at last and told him emphatically that although the book had certainly given me ideas, I had read it quite a long time ago, and that many other factors had led me to a realisation that I actually liked to be spanked, and that I was fed up with the leadership struggle that had been going on for years in our household, and that I was quite happy to be second in command. Spanking wasn't beating, and I doubted he would ever spank much harder than he had the time he bruised me; and I hadn't suffered because of that! And if he did, well, so what, I would get over it.
But he wasn't convinced. I cried harder.
"Look" he said at last. "You've dumped all this on my shoulders without any warning whatsoever, and you expect me to suddenly change and do everything according to these rules. Well I can't. It's all too much. We've been fine all along. And now you want to change everything."
"Well you may think we have been fine all along" I told him. "But I don't agree. I'm bored to death with 'us' at the moment. I feel like we're just two people sharing living accommodation. We're in a rut Starman. And it's a very deep rut! And I can't cope with it any more. So I'm desperately trying to do something about it. And I don't feel as if you are even listening to what I am saying.
You always used to write me lists when we were first married. You didn't think that was strange then."
"Well, I can't remember those days. Surely not."
"Yes you did! And you have always, always, had the final say on anything. It's always you who decides."
"And you know bloody well that I've never, ever, refused you sex. And we have an exciting sex life. Better now than ever. You don't complain about the submissive parts of that do you?!"
"So why is it so hard to just take this a little bit further along."
"I just can't spank you on purpose to hurt. I simply can't and I won't."
"But it hurts when we play spank. And it hurts when you spank with the wooden paddle. So what's the difference?"
"The difference is that I would know I was setting out to hurt you - for stupid little things."
"Look. I'm not exactly going to do stupid little things all the time. I'm not going to exactly encourage you to be mad at me. That's not how it works. It's only for my own good. It's to remind me not to repeat anything unacceptable to you. It's to stop me getting stressed and het up. It's a reinforcement and establishment of ground rules."
"Ha!" He latched on to that one. "If you don't know ground rules after all these years, then it's time you did!
I'm getting up!"
I remained in bed for a while trying not to cry and not succeeding.
This hadn't gone well and all sorts of stupid thoughts were going through my head. I so wished I hadn't given him the wretched questionnaire in the first place. But I felt it was necessary that he knew how I felt, and that I needed to know some answers. I had been very careful to phrase everything respectfully.
I eventually got up and showered, then I went down and made some toast. It was getting late and I had supermarket shopping to do, and the remainder of the Christmas decorations to take down and put away in the loft. In between I had laundry to get on with.
Starman sat across the table from me.
"I don't know why you keep on getting so upset about things." He looked at me. "I look after you don't I? And as for being bored - we always go on nice holidays. I've always taken you on holiday every year since we were married."
He looked smug but worried. (Reader, let me just tell you that I've also taken him on many, many holidays, and that I am not concerned with 'that type' of boredom.)
"I suppose if you want a list we could have a mutual list with S and A next to the various tasks. We could then help each other work through them perhaps?
Of course, when you've retired you will have time to do all sorts of things. You should do some charity work you know. You can't be sitting around here all day can you?"
Well, it wasn't exactly ideal, but it was a starter.
But he still wasn't 'getting it'.
"And perhaps we could both do with cutting down a little. It's not my fault that you're such a good cook" he said defensively.
Perhaps the right direction? I don't know any more.
It's evening and he's at Rotary and I'm exhausted and could still cry buckets at the drop of a hat. I feel completely flattened.
I just don't know whether it will work out or not.
I feel like the big, bad wolf.
He's going along in a happy little bubble and now I've come along and burst his bubble.
The trouble is that I've tried really hard over the last few months to be nicer, kinder, more submissive, less likely to jump down his throat at the drop of a hat.
I think I have been in this Dd in my head far longer than the six weeks we have been trying to live with it. And as far as I am concerned it is just what the doctor ordered.
But Starman isn't getting it. His reaction is exactly what mine was when I first started reading the blogs way back last summer. He doesn't yet understand. And I wonder whether he ever really will. And I wonder what will happen to us if he doesn't.
Slough of Despond here I come!
PS This is the shortened version of our conversations. We did, actually, discuss the four Ds in some detail and he wasn't against them; just confused with it all. I think he isn't against the 'theory' of it. It's the spanking part that is proving such an obstacle. I asked him about how he felt when I nagged, and to put it into his own words "...constantly chipped away at him". He said he hated it, but he had learned to simply leave me alone for several days and I would snap out of it. I just wish he would 'snap' me out of it immediately!