When NOT to practice Domestic Discipline!

Over the years we’ve talked about a lot of the different facets of beginning the lifestyle, and a lot of the positives and negatives to doing so. We’re covered why people would want to include something like domestic discipline into their relationships, and what type of behaviors it is great at fixing/eliminating.

However, one thing that we realized we haven’t covered is when domestic discipline may not be a good idea. Truth be told, domestic discipline is not a lifestyle for everyone.


We’ve had the privilege over the years of getting to know so many domestic discipline couples who come to us with a variety of different challenges, questions, and things that they need advice on. That’s one of our favorite parts of Domestic Discipline, if not the best part – getting to know other couples, and helping them navigate this often complicated and confusing journey. But, one thing we’ve learned in the years of doing this is that there are just simply some behavior traits, personality traits, or lifestyle choices that make practicing domestic discipline very, very difficult, dangerous, or even toxic.

We think it’s important to go over these as realistically as possible so that people don’t misunderstand what the lifestyle is all about, who it is best intended for, and the dangers of practicing the lifestyle if any of the below behaviors are present. This research is gathered from our own opinions, observations of helping others with these circumstances, common sense, as well as case studies of what could happen when domestic discipline is practiced under the below circumstances.

  1. Alcohol or drug use. If alcohol or illegal drugs is present with either party, domestic discipline should not be used. By alcohol we aren’t talking about having a glass of wine with dinner every now and again, so please don’t misunderstand. What we’re talking about here is alcohol dependency, or alcoholism. It’s no secret that alcohol and drugs can impair a persons thinking, behavior and mindset. Mix that with domestic discipline and the results could be catastrophic. Similarly to how we always recommend the HOH be calm, collected and in control of themselves before administering a punishment or making decisions, we also strongly recommend that the HOH be in the correct frame of mind (i.e. sober) to make such decisions, or administer consequences. It can also cause either partner to not grasp the full intention or reason for the punishment or feel the punishment as it is meant if they are not sober.
  2. Anger issues or domestic violence issues. Even if a couple opts not to use spanking as a consequence, we still feel it is important that domestic discipline never be practiced if there is a history of either party having domestic violence or anger issues. These would be things like uncontrolled anger, assaulting the other person (verbally, physically or sexually), etc. Some people have asked us before if it is still okay if the partner has went through counseling and or/rehabilitation for anger or domestic violence and has changed since then. Our best advice, in that circumstance, is to proceed with extreme caution, but even then, we still likely wouldn’t recommend domestic discipline. It is a risk to both parties involved.
  3. Emotional instability and/or mental health issues. Similar to what we’ve stated above, both parties need to be in a clear frame of mind when practicing domestic discipline. Mental health issues (such as extreme depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, etc.) can complicate domestic discipline because they cause the person to not be in the correct mindset, and can present dangers to both themselves and their partner. Similar to mental health issues, emotional instability issues (such as trauma, frequent “breakdowns”, running off, acting childish, cutting/self-harm and more) can lead to all sorts of problems with the lifestyle as well, including covering up the bigger issue (the reason for the emotional instability) with domestic discipline. These types of behaviors can also lead to a dangerous environment for both parties, as well as an unstable relationship that domestic discipline simply will not be able to solve. It can also create emotional connections and domestic discipline growth that is short lived, and not necessarily genuine.
  4. Eating disorders and other psychological disorders. Using domestic discipline for eating disorders is something that has been brought up frequently in the past. Using domestic discipline to correct psychological disorders can be a dangerous idea for many reasons. Similar to what we stated above, often times domestic discipline is used as a “way out” to fix these problems that really should be corrected with intense therapy. Domestic discipline in these situations is used to often mask the much bigger problem, which is why the partner has these psychological disorders in the first place. Using domestic discipline to correct something like this will likely lead to short-term results. Another problem with this is secrecy tends to surround eating disorders, and the partner is unlikely (especially at the beginning) to be honest with their partner about things such as purging, skipping meals, etc. which can lead to trust issues. Furthermore, eating disorders are typically tied to self-image issues which is something that discipline cannot correct and can, instead, make worse.
  5. Trust issues. Speaking of trust issues, that brings us to our next point – using domestic discipline when there is a severe lack of trust between one or both parties. Trust is crucial in a domestic discipline relationship. When that fails, or when it was never fully present in the first place, it can create results such as one partner falsely accusing the other of things that didn’t occur. It can also lead to false expectations around the domestic discipline lifestyle, and one partner (or both) sometimes feeling like they “aren’t good enough” because inconsistency is blamed for every falling out, or minor issue that the couple has with domestic discipline.
  6. Not being fully committed to the lifestyle. While this isn’t necessarily something that can be dangerous or toxic, it is something we felt it is important to mention. If a partner is not fully committed to living the domestic discipline lifestyle, we recommend not practicing until that commitment and consent are given. Similar to how trust is absolutely crucial with domestic discipline, so are things such as consent and commitment. When one person feels like they’re giving 120% to domestic discipline and the other partner is giving significantly less it can create an unhealthy environment for both involved.

This is not a complete list, but it covers the major ones that we wanted to mention. If you’re considering beginning the lifestyle and have issue with one or more of the above, we very strongly recommend seeking professional counseling and/or seriously talking through whether this lifestyle would be a good fit for you. Like we said, domestic discipline certainly is not for everyone and while the lifestyle can lead to amazing benefits and rewards it’s important to understand that those won’t fully be experienced, or seen (especially long-term) if the above behaviors and circumstances are present.

-Clint & Chelsea

Leave a Reply