It’s pretty well documented that my husband and I have really positive things to say about domestic discipline and what its done for our relationship, as well as countless others. It’s a lifestyle that we believe in for so many reasons. But, that isn’t to say it isn’t without a few regrets here and there. If you incorporate domestic discipline into your relationship already then you probably understand what we mean when we say that it’s hard. It takes a lot of work and effort from both people. And, over the course of the years, there are things you’re bound to regret either doing or not doing when it comes to domestic discipline. I think that’s just part of it.
I’m not going to use the cliche answer of “my biggest regret is not starting it sooner!” because that’s simply not true. I actually like the fact that Clint and I waited a bit before beginning domestic discipline as I think it really allowed us to get to know each other and build our relationship foundation first before we introduced this. For us, the timing was great.
A few people have asked over the years what we regret. Is it starting Learning Domestic Discipline? Definitely not. Incorporating spanking as a punishment? Not most days. Being open with people about domestic discipline? Nope, not that either.
My biggest regret actually started way back when we first began domestic discipline, and it’s something that I continue to regret even now, many many years later. When we first started domestic discipline Clint and I never sat down to make any sort of formalized rules list right off the bat. It was more of a “let’s just look at the couple of things we seem to argue about, or that cause problems, and those are the unwritten rules” so to speak. So, procrastination was the first and a few others followed – but nothing was ever formalized. In fact, after we began domestic discipline, any mention of the rules was almost non-existent. Punishments came at a time when I had done something he felt was not in the best interest of our family, not necessarily when a rule was broken. It was confusing, and felt a little unorganized (which I hated).
It wasn’t really until we did boot camp for the first time that we created a formalized rule list, and let me tell you, things went much smoother. It was so much easier to know “okay, this will get me in trouble, but something like this won’t” instead of having to guess. After boot camp is when domestic discipline really seemed to “come together” for us.
Not having a formalized rule list from the beginning is something that I think both Clint and I really regret because it started somewhat of an unhealthy pattern for us. There have been a few times over the years where we have unintentionally stopped following our rules list that we made and fell back into the days of “no rule list” which is difficult. Earlier this year we sat down and updated our rules list (again) and since then we’ve both been doing a good job of sticking to following that, but it’s still a work in progress.
I think, had we have developed a concrete rule list from the beginning with set rules and expectations that it would have eliminated the times later on where we tried the “no rules list” approach. I also think that having a rules list from the beginning would have prevented some of the “wait why are you punishing me for that?” moments that we encountered early on in domestic discipline simply because it would have made the expectations more clear.
All in all, there aren’t many things at all that I regret about domestic discipline, but the way we chose to do the rules list is something that is pretty high up on both our lists. If you’re new to domestic discipline, or thinking of beginning, I would encourage you and your partner to consider the benefits of creating a formalized rules and expectations list. Trust me, it’s worth it.