Communication is important, no doubt about it.
But, it is also more difficult than it sounds. Often times when we open our inbox and see emails from people asking for advice we feel like most of them just need to communicate better (example: getting your partner on board with domestic discipline = communicate your desire to do domestic discipline, what it is, what you like about it, how it would help you) but how to communicate all of that is a different story. And, communicating as a submissive partner can be even more tricky. Now, I’m not saying HOH’s have it easy (don’t get me wrong, or misunderstand, because I definitely think being an HOH is a hard job) but communicating as an HOH is different than communicating as a submissive partner. Communicating a punishment to your submissive partner, the “terms” of a grounding (for example) – that’s very black and white. Communicating as a submissive partner is a whole different story.
The number one most important rule of communication as a submissive partner is to not be afraid to do so. Don’t be afraid to tell your HOH what you think, how you feel, and what’s going through your mind. Those are not only things he needs to, and deserves to know, but things that can be helpful in ensuring open lines of communication and minimizing problems down the road. I’ve talked to many submissive partners who seem hesitant to communicate things to their HOH for one reason or another.
If you’re struggling to talk to your HOH I would recommend the following tips:
- Identify why communication is a struggle. Like everything with domestic discipline, in order to change a behavior or a mindset you must first identify why it is occurring. The same is true for communication. Pinpoint what it is about communicating that is difficult.
- Write instead of talk. There are many submissive partners who choose to write their HOH a letter, a quick note, an email, even a text instead of face-to-face communication. While this isn’t always an ideal option, some find it easier to communicate this way.
- Don’t set expectations. If you’re planning to have a conversation with your HOH about a decision he made that you disagree with, for example, setting expectations ahead of time that he will change his mind has the potential to make the problem worse instead of better. Expectations in domestic discipline cause a lot of problems, in fact. If things don’t go the way you expect, it then causes a let down as well as the original dilemma or problem not being solved. So, we recommend not setting recommendations before approaching a serious conversation with your HOH and to get to a point where you’re okay (even if not happy) with whatever the outcome is.
I like to call the art of communication as a submissive partners as the “4 R’s Method”.
The 4 R’s are:
- Respect. Similar to how important communication is in a relationship, respect is equally as important. Make sure that your communication is done respectfully, even if you are upset. Yes, there is a way that you can still get your point across, and your emotions across, without being disrespectful..you just have to master it. While that may be easier said than done, it’s important to keep in the back of your mind that the respect you want your HOH to show you is the same respect you need to show him. Backtalking, rolling your eyes, walking away from a discussion, or overall having a bad attitude are all things that can make communication extra difficult, as well as disrespectful to your HOH. If this is something you struggle with, I recommend taking a minute to count to 10 (or some other number that works for you) and to gather your thoughts before responding. Responding without thinking will likely make the disrespect worse.
- Rationale. Having a rationale behind what you’re thinking, feeling, or wanting to discuss will help the conversation to go smoother and will help your HOH to better understand your point of view. Having your HOH fully understand what you’re asking about, or why you’re feeling the way that you do is crucial for any change to happen.
- Reciprocate. You want your HOH to listen to what you have to say, and consider your thoughts and feelings, right? Make sure to reciprocate those actions to your HOH. Give him plenty of time to talk, share how he feels, and communicate with you as well. Remember that communication is a two way street.
- Real and raw. Although it’s important to express communication in a respectful way, it’s also important to express your thoughts and feelings in a real, open and honest way. Your HOH needs to know how you feel, what you’re thinking, what you want, what you need, and so on. Don’t sugarcoat anything, as it could lead to your HOH not fully understanding what you’re communicating. Be open and raw about what is going on.
Communicating as a submissive partner can be difficult, no doubt. Finding balance between being respectful and being real with your HOH is something that many submissive partners struggle with, and that’s normal. Just remember that communicating with your HOH should be a “safe zone” free of punishment threats, or free of the fear of breaking a rule. Although HOH’s reserve the right to punish for things that may be confessed during a discussion that doesn’t mean that communicating should be something submissive partners fear, or struggle with. With a little practice, and remembering the 4 “R’s” it should get easier over time.