It seems that a recurring struggle for many of us who have chosen ttwd is relinquishing control. It certainly is for me. Why, if I have asked Sam to be the dominant in this relationship and I want to be the submissive, is this so difficult? Is it a sign of the times in which we live? Is it a defect in my personality and emotional makeup? Is it because I was the oldest child in the family? Is it something I was taught? Is it something I developed out of need just to cope with a specific situation? I do think of this often now. However, what needs to happen is for the thinking to take place before I screw up instead of after.
There were many times during our marriage where I took on the role of running things, because Sam was not able to. His long work
days with lengthy commute times. His earning his master's degree in business and working full time, too. Away from home on business. I was the model of efficiency and nobody better get in my way.
Later as a teacher, being in control seemed to be just part of being good at my job. Multi-tasking is an art form for teachers. It's all
about how do you deliver quality curriculum, assess, revise, individualize, manage behavior positively and maintain a kind, safe, and caring environment for so many important little people. Talk about being the boss!
Hand in hand with the control issue goes trust. If I truly trust Sam, then shouldn't giving up control be easy? As I have said, this is not the first time this has been a problem for me. Sam should be able to tell me he is going to do something or not do something and know -
I believe him and I believe in him.
The issue is different each time I fall short. But the result is the same. Seems to me that there is a pattern - whether it is how to drive to our destination, cooking Sunday dinner, or even with a big financial decision. Sam will consult me on most of these, and the discussion is open. Of course, it's easy if we totally agree on the decision or if Sam decides to leave a decision to me. What is much harder is being able to say and mean
"Whatever you think."
I even consciously try to smile when I say that.
Even better is to add, "I trust you."
Lately there is a serious issue under discussion at our house. It is one with which I know he needs my support. But my first reaction hasn't been support as much as control. I want to dictate the solution. In this case this is not only irritating to Sam, but my control will actually work against him. A ttwd conundrum, if you will. As he became exasperated with my interference, he finally asked,
"Have I ever lied to you before?"
I had to answer, "No, never."
"And I am not lying to you now. You need to trust me."
But I did not. When I finally backed off the control, I just turned silent and drew into my myself. I even spoiled a special afternoon we had planned together.
"Ella, come here," Sam said gently. I straddled his lap a good while but didn't talk and didn't connect. Finally he stood. He was not angry one bit. Just took my hand and led me down the hallway.
I was crying long before he even started. First he unzipped my jeans and pulled them and my panties down to my knees. Then he actually took me across one knee. He has never done that in the bedroom before. Our antique bed is so high that is is difficult. And he started with his hand. He never does that either. I guess it is what others would call a warm up. I do not know what to call it, but it was so much more personal, and it felt so right. It lasted a long while. He talked to me the whole time about trust and control. He stood and gently pushed me over the bed. I heard him open the drawer, and he started paddling in earnest. Very hard.
When he was finally done, I was exhausted. Maybe he was, too. The tears had been cathartic this time. He was back in charge, and the connection was back, too. As he gathered me into his arms, he said, "That was one for the record books." He was not being funny, just firm. I don't know how to explain it, but that was the worst and the best spanking I have ever had.
I need to give up the control.
And I need to trust.
I know it may sound corny and country, but there is a lot of truth to,
"Stand by your man."
Epilogue - Since I finished this post, the whole issue has been happily resolved. Lesson Learned - I didn't need to worry or control or retreat. I just needed to trust him.