You may recall an interview we did with a couple who has incorporated a unique domestic discipline dynamic into their relationship. Kathy and Gary adopted the Female-Led (or Wife-Led) dynamic of domestic discipline into their marriage, and their interview gave us a lot of great information and a very interesting look into how the FLR dynamic works. You can read that interview here.
We’re excited and pleased to announce that another couple in a unique domestic discipline relationship, Robert and Jade, have agreed to answer a few questions for us. They have incorporated the Spencer Plan dynamic, or the Cooperative Domestic Discipline dynamic as it is sometimes referred to, into their marriage. Their interview is below.
With the exception of a few minor punctuation corrections, the answers given by Robert and Jade have not been changed, manipulated, or otherwise edited in any way, shape, form, or fashion.
1) – Tell us a little more about yourselves. How long have you been married? How did you first hear about domestic discipline? How long have you been practicing the lifestyle?
Robert and Jade: We’ve been married almost four years, but we’ve been together as a couple for six. Robert read about it online and shared it with Jade. We’ve been practicing in some capacity for five years or so.
2) – What made you two feel as though the Spencer Plan, or the Cooperative Domestic Discipline dynamic, was right for your marriage?
Jade: People want discipline and structure from day one, it’s how we learn our boundaries. As you get older, some people have self discipline and some don’t. Even those of us that have it, still desire outside discipline and structure. It helps us know that our partners care enough about us and our relationship to help maintain it.
Robert: Neither of us would feel comfortable ‘turning the reins over’ completely. However, we both recognize the benefits of having external discipline to keep us on track. CoDD is the only solution that fits the bill for us.
3) – The plan that was developed by Dorothy Spencer indicates that women are to only be spanked with the hand and men only with implements. Do you personally practice this way? If not, what are your thoughts on Dorothy Spencer’s plan?
Jade: No, we don’t do it that way. The spanking is based on the offense and not the gender. Men and women are both equally capable of making the same kind of mistakes and should be held to the same standards. Spanking isn’t about the pain per se, it’s about the action of the discipline.
Robert: I never understood the point of that particular requirement with the Spencer plan and it has no relevance to us. Implements are more frequently used on me, but my wife isn’t immune to them.
4) – Give us a brief overview of how the Spencer Plan, or the CoDD dynamic, works for your marriage.
Robert and Jade: We each have areas of responsibility that the other provides guidance for and a small set of universal rules. Each of us may require tasks of the other person (with regards to their responsibilities), counsel on performance and take disciplinary actions.
5) – What do you two feel are the biggest “pros” or advantages to living this dynamic of domestic discipline?
Jade: Our relationship isn’t traditional to start with. As the female, I am the breadwinner and go to work everyday while my husband has chosen to stay home and raise the children. I don’t have to do as much stuff at home but I still have things that I am responsible for and I need my husband to help me do that. Likewise, it’s my responsibility to make sure he does his job at home.
Robert: I enjoy the equality and the feeling of partnership that we experience. I don’t feel led or managed, rather I feel like we’re charting a course and then helping each other make the journey.
6) – What’s the biggest challenge you two face with this dynamic in your marriage? How do you work around/through it?
Robert and Jade: The biggest challenge is just making sure it happens. HOH inconsistency is a persistent issue across all dynamics and we are no exception. We don’t argue over who is in charge, we sometimes just don’t take charge at all.
7) – Who initiated domestic discipline in your marriage, and how was it initially received by the other partner?
Jade – My husband did. I was really enthusiastic. I’ve always been a very self-sufficient individual and I wasn’t comfortable making my husband do something. When he offered this, it gave me the opportunity to feel like less of a ‘bossy bitch’ and more like an equal partner.
Robert – I did. I wasn’t sure what she thought of it initially. I didn’t think she would be on board with being disciplined herself so I initially pitched it as a limited HOH role for her. We were both working back then, but I wanted to stay on track keeping the house clean. We moved to a CoDD arrangement a short while later.
8) – Do you both share the same set of rules and consequences for each other?
Robert and Jade – Our responsibilities are different, but the universal rules are the same. Also, consequences are tailored more to the individual based on their particular tolerances. Spanking has a different effect on Jade than it does Robert, so something that might be a spankable offense for him would earn Jade a more lenient punishment. Just like punishments vary from couple to couple, we feel they also need to vary from person to person in a CoDD arrangement.
9) – What consequences do you use?
Robert and Jade – Lines, Loss of Privileges, Spanking, Corner time, Probation terms.
10) – Do you find that one partner tends to take the role of HoH more than the other?
Robert and Jade – Yes, but who that is seems to shift from time to time. There are periods of time where one person tends to be more consistent, but not necessarily over a long period of time.
11) – Can one partner decline a punishment if they feel it isn’t warranted? If both partners have authority to some degree, it seems as though that would cause a power conflict/struggle at times.
Robert and Jade – Discussion is always encouraged, sometimes mitigating circumstances can lighten or change the punishment, but once it has been decided declination is not allowed. Conflict can arise, but because one person is the violator of the rules the other person has clear authority over the situation. There really is no power struggle.
12) – Are there ever any feelings of “getting even”? Does that ever present issues?
Robert and Jade – Never. Oddly enough, the opposite effect tends to occur. We both check ourselves if there is any inclination towards that feeling and generally go the opposite direction when choosing a punishment (meaning we tend to go lighter, rather than harder).
13) – When an important decision needs to be made for the family, who has the final say?
Robert and Jade – We discuss important decisions until we have a consensus, so I suppose you could say we both have the final say. Our feelings and thoughts on most things tend to be very aligned and any disagreements tend to occur because we haven’t fully explored each others points of view. Talking it out has always solved the problem.
14) – What advice would you give to other couples considering the CoDD dynamic?
Jade – Communicate, communicate, communicate. 100% honesty is critical as well. Without communication and honesty, your feelings are subject to the worst possible thoughts from the other person. Never be afraid to share your feelings, they are the core of who you are. If you can’t be who you are with the person you are with, regardless of your dynamic, it doesn’t matter.
Robert – Be mature in your dealings with each other. Your partner needs to trust you and be able to rely on you to submit when necessary and lead when appropriate. Communication is key to that ability and also to learn the comfort levels and needs of your partner.
15) – What other resources are available for those considering this domestic discipline dynamic for their relationship?
Robert and Jade – To the best of our knowledge, there are no outside sources that we’ve been able to find. If there are other people out there practicing this dynamic, they have remained quiet about it. The best resource you have is each other.
We’d like to express our thanks to Robert and Jade for their terrific interview. We also applaud their efforts in helping others understand how this type of domestic discipline relationship works. Cooperative Domestic Discipline may not be as common as other domestic discipline dynamics, but it clearly works for Robert and Jade and we’re so happy they have found what makes them the most happy. That’s what it’s all about. 🙂
We learned a lot from Robert and Jade’s interview, and we hope you did as well. They have agreed to answer any questions you may have for them, so if you’d like to ask Robert and/or Jade a question in the comments, we encourage you to fire away!
If you feel you have a unique dynamic of domestic discipline in your relationship/marriage, we’d love to interview you if you’d be willing to do so. If your DD relationship isn’t “traditional”, and you would like to volunteer for an interview, please contact us. Thank you!
Additional reading on the Spencer Plan/Cooperative Domestic Discipline:
Alternative Domestic Discipline Dynamics: The Spencer Plan
“Cooperative Domestic Discipline: An Alternative Approach”