You’ve probably seen it mentioned on our site a thousand times – domestic discipline isn’t easy. It’s rewarding, no doubt, but it isn’t easy (especially in the beginning). We’ve been practicing domestic discipline for awhile and it feels like we’re still learning new things and figuring new aspects of it out. Throughout the years we have learned a variety of valuable lessons that we thought might be helpful to pass along to you.
1. Don’t set expectations. It may sound impossible, and we can understand that. So, maybe instead we should say set as few expectations as possible. When we first started domestic discipline we each entered the lifestyle with a set of expectations and learned quickly that was a bad idea.
For example, Chelsea envisioned that inconsistency likely would never occur (because both of us were so dedicated to the lifestyle) and therefore had an expectation that consequences and rewards would be delivered on a dime. Needless to say, we’ve suffered two instances of inconsistency since we began domestic discipline and while that might not seem like much to most, it really threw us both for a loop. Having the expectations that it would never happen just made it more of a letdown when it did.
For Clint, he expected to not have to punish for the same thing more than once or twice. Since domestic discipline worked so well right off the bat for us, and we instantly began to see results, he felt that the pattern would likely continue with all offenses and, as a result, consequences wouldn’t have to be handed out more than one or two times for the same offense. Let’s just say that didn’t happen either. And, because he had those expectations, it made it more frustrating to punish when rules were broken more than once. That frustration could have all been avoided if expectations were never set in the first place. Moral of the story? We’ve learned that setting expectations, no matter how realistic you may think they are, is not a good idea with domestic discipline.
2. Don’t be quick to punish. We discussed this a little bit in the “Bedroom Time Gone Wrong” post earlier this week, but we felt mentioning it again was a good idea because that was just one example of several that taught us the same lesson. Sometimes domestic discipline or a specific punishment is not the right answer for every problem that occurs within your relationship. Sometimes Clint doesn’t punish right away, especially if it’s a tricky situation, and we’ve both become okay with that. It occasionally takes him some time to decide what punishment would be the most fair, or generate the best results. If it’s a situation we haven’t been in before, or a rule that has never been broken before, he’s learned that it’s best to not jump to the first consequence that comes to mind. Consider all of the factors before making a decision on what consequence, if any, to hand out.
3. Don’t be quick to judge something you don’t understand. This lesson learned primarily goes back to our pre-DD days, but it has also been applicable a few times as we’ve grown in the lifestyle. We both thought this entire lifestyle was crazy at first. Clint very candidly opened up about this particular lesson almost two years ago, but to quickly recap — Clint thought the lifestyle was crazy and jumped to an incorrect conclusion that it wouldn’t help a marriage before giving it any kind of consideration whatsoever. He hates to admit that he was close-minded and judgmental about domestic discipline before ever trying it. It’s a mistake he regrets to this day, but the lesson he learned from it has been an invaluable one. Something that you THINK is “weird” or “crazy” could really make you happy if you just give it a try.
4. Don’t be afraid to change up domestic discipline every now and again. We’ve learned that the way we began practicing domestic discipline isn’t necessarily the way we should be practicing it now. Although Chelsea thinks it would be pretty great to still get spanked like she did in the beginner days (a couple of swats, over the clothing, with a light implement) it’s clear that as we grew as a couple, domestic discipline needed to grow and change as well. We’ve made many changes to how we practice the lifestyle over the years, and we’re learned that revising our rule list every 1-2 years (as our lives change) is something really beneficial. Clint has also learned that changing how we spank can be really effective and whenever he does that it definitely makes the message get through more (for some odd reason).
5. Get involved in the community. We can’t stress this enough. It’s hard to think about where we would be today if we wouldn’t have integrated ourselves into the domestic discipline community. One of the key foundations of Learning Domestic Discipline was to ensure that no one felt alone within the lifestyle, and this comes from a time where we, ourselves, did feel really alone and it was hard. Although we knew one other couple (at the time) who practiced the lifestyle, we definitely felt like outcasts for the first little while, and keeping it so private from our friends and family was really, really hard. One of the best things we did was create Learning Domestic Discipline which therefore allowed us to reach out to people all over the world who believe in the same traditional relationship values that we do and practice a similar way of life. In turn, we’ve been able to meet (both in person and online) tons of different couples who have taught us so much about this lifestyle, opened their hearts to us, and whom we have formed long lasting friendships with. We’re telling you guys – there’s nothing like having friends that truly understand the lifestyle. If you haven’t yet gotten involved within the domestic discipline lifestyle we highly encourage you to. Make friends within the community, get to know each other, and support each other through this challenging yet rewarding lifestyle. It just makes it all the more worth it.
We could go on and on with what all we’ve learned with the lifestyle, but these five lessons stand out as ones that we’re thankful we know, even if we had to learn them the hard way at first. Like we’ve said before, domestic discipline may not be easy. But we’ve learned so much and we hope it helps you all in your domestic discipline journey as it as helped us.