Forever is a tough word, and I usually avoid using it because it’s so permanent. But, in this case, I think it’s fitting.
This is a hard post to write, you guys. It’s a post where things “get real”, and although we have a lot of posts like that on our blog already, it doesn’t make this one any easier.
As many of you know, last year I completed a “one year no spanking challenge” with a few other people in the domestic discipline community. It was a lot of fun, and my reward was a trip to Fiji, which made it completely and totally fun and worth it.
So, when we moved into our new house earlier this month, I decided to “amp” things up a little bit and do another challenge, but this time to vow to not get spanked for the entire duration that we live in this house (which will likely be 2-3 years, depending on how long our house takes to build, and all that fun stuff).
Clint wasn’t so sure I could do it, but I was determined to.
When we moved into the house, I told him not to even bother unpacking the implements because he wouldn’t need them. For the first little while, they remained in the box, sitting on the floor of our master bedroom, untouched. And, it was awesome. I was spank-free, and my challenge had officially begun.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. Clint and I were watching TV one night, after the kids were in bed, and a curse word slipped out. He didn’t hesitate pulling me over his lap and giving me a few hard swats as a reminder to watch my mouth. But, after it was finished, the first words out of my mouth were “this isn’t going to effect my challenge, right??”. I was so worried about that stupid challenge that it was beginning to become obvious that it was a problem.
Since it was just warning swats, Clint agreed that the challenge would still be fine, and I was relieved. I barely remembered what I did wrong to deserve those swats, but hey, as long as my challenge was fine, I was good and we moved on.
And then last week.
You guys, I seriously got spanked twice in one week.
That’s really (really!) rare for me, and it sucked. These weren’t like little warning swat/mini-spankings either. One of them was probably what you’d classify as moderate, and the other was definitely severe. But, they were both well deserved.
But, although I “ruined” my challenge last week and would definitely have to begin the 2-3 year challenge over with, instead Clint and I sat down and spent about an hour talking about it. Clint always has been fine with me doing these challenges, and I loved them. However, we both came to the realization that this had gone too far.
Instead of worrying about what I was doing wrong, or focusing on why I acted the way I did and how it could be avoided next time, my focus was always on the challenge, making sure that whatever I had gotten punished for wouldn’t break my challenge. If it was something that would break my challenge, I was disappointed. Severely disappointed in myself, mad that I just couldn’t do it, or couldn’t have went further than I did, and there were times where I couldn’t help but be a little upset at Clint if he said my challenge had to restart. I constantly questioned why he couldn’t have just let that offense go, because he knew how important the challenge was to me, and I questioned myself a lot too, wondering if I could really do this, and planning the best ways to make it work. These were things that I started seeing during my one year challenge last year, but didn’t really want to admit it because I was adamant on doing another challenge.
So, anyway, we came to the mutual conclusion/decision that these challenges were actually detrimental to our marriage, instead of helpful.
While it’s wonderful and great if I can stay out of trouble for a year, making that the sole focus of domestic discipline is becoming an issue because it’s causing me to focus more on the challenge and less on my behavior.
Also, as weird as it sounds, I think these challenges actually may have been making my behavior worse. Before I started the challenge I could go awhile without getting spanked, but that’s because I genuinely wanted to avoid a spanking because it hurt, because it disappointed my husband (and myself) and because it just wasn’t a fun situation to be in. The spankings were effective because they were enough of a deterrent to make sure that I was able to avoid them for the reasons above, and because I truly wanted to change my behavior, and improve. But, since starting the challenge, I felt myself thinking more about not getting spanked because of the awesome reward I would get if I completed the challenge, or that I could prove my husband wrong and say “remember that time I went TWO years without getting spanked and you didn’t think I could do it???”.
Last week was a wake up call for both of us. It was the week that Clint finally put his foot down and realized the problems that the challenges were beginning to cause, and it was the first time in a long time that I got spanked twice in one week, which is definitely something I want to avoid. Although, this time, I want to avoid it because that’s not the kind of wife I want to be, and because I definitely don’t want to get spanked (especially twice!) not because of my challenge.
The challenge, for me, may have ended but if you’re still doing a challenge, I’ll definitely be front row cheering you on. And, to the countless numbers of people who have supported me through my first challenge, and the start of my second one, I’m forever grateful.
Right now, my new “challenge” is more of a goal, which is to do the best I can to not get spanked, but realize that if it happens I need to go back to the days of looking at why it happened, and what I can do differently next time. As for the rewards, Clint has promised they’ll still be there, sporadically, and that’s perfectly fine with me.
Here’s to a new kind of challenge, where I focus more on my behavior and less on a number/end goal.