We’ve been getting a lot of repeat questions recently, so we’ve decided to do another FAQ series here on Learning Domestic Discipline. Clearly these are issues that many couples are struggling with/dealing with, and we’re happy to offer our suggestions/recommendations to hopefully help couples get past these problems. Let’s get right to them.
How do I relinquish control/be more “submissive” to my HoH?
Changing the dynamic of a relationship can take quite some time to do. If a couple is just starting out with the lifestyle, and the submissive partner has had the strongest influence on the direction of the relationship for a number of years, it’s going to be a long and difficult process to transition all of those responsibilities over to the HoH. The dynamic of the relationship is completely changing. We think a lot of people expect this transition to be almost immediate, and that simply isn’t realistic. We just want people to understand that before we even answer this question. It takes time, patience and understanding.
Being “submissive” is more of a mindset than it is a behavior. A submissive partner needs to be mentally willing to give over the “control” of the final decisions and the direction of the relationship to the HoH. That takes a huge amount of trust, and it’s not easy. It’s an enormous step in the grand scheme of things, but it can be eased into with small steps.
Start with small decisions and work your way up. Something as insignificant as where you plan to eat that evening would be a start. If you’ve decided to go out to dinner that evening, have your HoH choose where to eat. When they make a decision on where to eat, don’t get angry, don’t question the decision, don’t complain, don’t offer six other restaurants that sound better than what they chose – support the decision. You wanted your HoH to make the decisions, so let them. If your HoH asks for your opinion certainly offer it, but defer the ultimate decision to them and follow their lead when they make that decision. This is just a small example obviously, but it illustrates what being “submissive” is all about.
Being “submissive” doesn’t mean your opinion doesn’t matter, either. We want to make that clear. This is just an example, and again, if your HoH asks for your opinion, share it. Even if they don’t, you can and should politely offer your opinion if you feel compelled to do so. You can influence the decision, but you shouldn’t make the decision.
To relinquish control and be more “submissive”, you need to put complete trust in your HoH, you need to support the decisions they make, and you need to be willing to accept any and all ramifications, good or bad, from their decision. We’re not saying all those things are easy to do, but that’s how to do it.
By the way, we keep putting the term “submissive” into quotes because we hate that term, however we don’t really have a better term to use when discussing this. If you want to know why we hate the term “submissive”, just Google image that term. We’re all adults, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Does the submissive partner’s opinion even matter? How much of a say do they really have in a DD marriage/relationship?
We put this question after the first one since it sort of plays off of it. We’re a little surprised at how often this question comes up. Yes, the submissive partner’s opinion matters. Of course it does. The submissive partner should always express their opinion if they feel compelled to do so. If the submissive partner disagrees with a punishment, or disagrees with any aspect of a punishment, or disagrees with a decision, or if they simply wants to offer their two cents on any given topic, they absolutely should. We feel like we’ve repeatedly expressed the importance of communication in a relationship on this website, so we won’t continue to beat that dead horse. The submissive partner’s opinion absolutely matters, the HoH should always take it into consideration, and the HoH should take their partner’s opinion seriously and make the best decision they can with their partner’s opinion in mind.
With that said, it’s important that the submissive partner respectfully express their opinion. If a submissive partner offers their opinion in a hostile, condescending, rude, or obnoxious way, obviously that isn’t going to help the situation. We would hope it goes without saying that both partners should be respectful to one another at all times. Sure, emotions can run high sometimes, but if emotions are running high, take a moment to compose yourselves. Get to a state of mind where you both can have a constructive, adult conversation with each other. There’s no room for anything other than that in any relationship, not just a DD relationship.
My partner is experiencing her cycle right now. Her attitude is terrible and her behavior is slipping. How should I handle this?
We understand emotions can get a little off balance during a woman’s cycle. Women can get irritable, rude, testy, disrespectful, among other things during their cycle. It happens, but a woman’s cycle is not an excuse to completely disregard the rules of the relationship and home, in our opinion. It isn’t a “no rules for a week” card to be redeemed every month.
To put it bluntly – we don’t recommend one single thing change when it comes to enforcing the rules of the home/relationship and carrying out the subsequent punishments for breaking them during a woman’s cycle. The last thing you want to do as head of the household is be inconsistent with enforcing the rules, as we’ve talked about numerous times on this website. Consistency is key, even when your partner is going through her cycle.
We do recommend, however, that the HoH be a bit more understanding and sensitive to their partner’s feelings during this time. An HoH should always be sensitive to their partner’s feelings, but it should be magnified during her cycle. She’s more emotional during this time, and the HoH needs to understand that and make the necessary emotional adjustments.
These are good questions and difficult ones to answer. They do come up a lot, so if one of these questions addresses a situation you’re currently in, you most definitely are not alone in your situation. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, or questions in the comment section below.