Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear Barney ( it's a rambler)

Dear Barney,

I know as of late I have been distancing. I know it must appear that I am being difficult. I have been short tempered and well, snappy. I am sorry for this, I truly am.  I don't like living with that person any more than you do. The truth of the matter is, I am sad. We both know how my default emotion to hurt is anger. Okay and to pain it is anger. Well I guess it is to sadness too. Hmmm? I guess I might have anger management issues. Maryanne makes fun of me all the time because I say, " I'm mad at Barney." She laughs and says, " Oh no you are not. You make me laugh. You always say that but you aren't really mad at him". Meh. She's right. In the past I have been frustrated, strutting around like a wet hen, as Dan would say.  Not this time. I am sad. I don't really think disappointed, like you said to me today. Just sad.

The week before last, after the grocery store ( flashback time).
We were having a good day. I wasn't upset. I was feeling under the weather, and wished to GOD someone would come up with a crotch sling for those weeks that nature reminds me I am BLESSED to be the fairer sex...(.I'm not picky...a modified version of this would do)

By the time we got to the cash I just wanted to be done.  Insert a rude cashier to the older man in front of me.  Irritation number 2.  Insert the man I felt sorry for moments later NOT being considerate and moving his cart so I could bag my groceries, irritation number 3.  Oh wait, you handing me stuff that is 2 inches from my hands instead of pulling your own things out of the cart, while a constant, still a tad irritating.  And then the final irritation,  you standing at the cash, with the cart, while the box I had packed was jamming up the conveyor belt, crushing potato chips in its wake.  I went to pick up said box, and you curtly said, " I can do it"...and well the rest was history right?  Hurricane Wilma...." WELL THEN DO IT!"  I can't exactly remember what response you had, but it was curt and fueled my fire.
For the rest of the morning, I didn't think about the incident.  Only that I was irked.  I didn't think of consequences and is he or isn't he going to?  I just stewed.  As did you. After lunch when you told me to go upstairs and get into position and wait, I don't know how I felt.  I knew that earlier you had alluded to me being in trouble for not taking my blood pressure, and I was going to see if you would hold off on that because I really wasn't feeling well at this point.  I went upstairs, disrobed and got into position.  As I lay there over the end of the bed, kneeling on the loveseat, I literally thought to myself, " What the hell are you doing Wilma?  This is utterly ridiculous.  Why on earth would you want this?"  Another softer voice told me to stay where I was, that this was important to do today. 
This was truly the first spanking where I felt you were 100 % in control of the situation.  Although I had be punished before, this was the first time for something that was disruptive to our relationship.  The first time for attitude.  You were emotionally invested in this spanking, and even though I was still angry about the grocery store, I heard your words.

 " You are always in such a hurry.  There is no need to always be in a hurry all the time.  That box was way too heavy for most people and especially you.  You should have never tried to lift it.  ( btw there was a mental pffft in my head for those sentences). 
I know that I haven't always stopped you when you have snapped at me, but I want you to take comfort now in knowing that from now on I will. ( insert a remark from me about no longer taking comfort ) I want the boys to see us both treating each other with respect.  I don't talk to you that way.  You will not talk to me that way anymore either.  And if you do, we will be right back here as soon as we can.  You can count on it.
I know we are going away soon, and you are being very good at staying organized and hopefully you won't be too stressed.  But let's face it you will most likely be back here a couple more times before we go. "
and so on.

So coming off of what was an extremely dominant situation where you kept going and going,even having me wait there for 10 minutes while you took care of a lunch time visitor and resuming was a shock but a great thing for us.

Yes we stumbled a bit on the following Monday during R/A . I suspected I would because it would be difficult to compete with the dominance of a few days before, despite the fact that I kept telling myself it was going to be different but okay. I know you had a difficult time spanking that day because things had been so great between us and you fell back into the same issue you had before when you couldn't spank. ( a reminder )

I suppose that was the start of the unravel. While you certainly found your conviction later in the week...(yeouch by the way!) after we discussed this issue at length again, it became a cycle that has been repeating itself. We haven't been maintaining our dynamic outside of the spanking aspect. Which for the most part you have ya know, mastered!

I know we have talked about 'bringing' me back or keeping me 'here' and we both know that sometimes the pressure around a particular spanking session is too great to be effective. That often it takes more than one, and life often gets in the way of that happening.

Which brings me back to why I feel sad,( I know it sounds like such a juvenile emotion worded that way). Being ignored at the party while I didn't let it bother me too much there, was more just the icing on the crappy cake. I was so hopeful with all that had went on in our discussions last month. I had waited and waited. I had been punished for breaking rules about my health and I knew these were easier ones for you to justify punishing for. I knew these were steps that you had to take. I saw a newer you and I was becoming a newer me. But somewhere along the line it appeared to stop, ( I know we have already had this coasting discussion so I won't go on about it).

The distancing that I started after the party was right at the surface because of the previous week too. It didn't take much I will admit. When you are so hopeful that the change is in the air, and then it stalls for a bit~ whether it be because of human error or life getting in the way, it doesn't matter. It deflates you. I am sad because I feel like, you let me distance. I know in a perfect world I would turn myself around, but this time I was unable to. This is one of the main reasons we have ttwd in our house. You have already pointed it out how this is my biggest obstacle. How asking me what is wrong and me not providing an answer is not helpful. I wish at those times I could, but as I explained I can't do it in a short amount of time. ie RIGHT after you ask. I need to build up the courage to say something. I need you to keep asking. To ask me in a controlled environment. Essentially to make me talk yes, but to have to the time to wait for me to get the words out, ( I know -I'm not asking too much).

( I know you've seen this before, but it really does sum me up doesn't it?)

  I was sad because I felt like you let me distance. I wished  you had taken control of the situation before it got out of hand, in whichever way you chose. It felt like

 You let me go.

Remember THOSE type of parents we would see at the pool? The ones that would try to get their kids to jump in. They would say a few words of encouragement and patiently stand there. After a while there would be a few verbal jabs to entice the child. Eventually the parents would just walk away and say forget it. How sad the little face was.  Sad because they disappointed their parent and because the person that promised them they would catch them when they jumped and it would be okay, was now walking away. That is somewhat what it feels like. I want to jump, but sometimes it takes me longer. I want you to pull me in to show me it is safe and you aren't going to let me sink to the bottom. I may go under, but at least if you are there to scoop me up, I will get over the water in my nose.

Today when we had our discussion, I guess I wanted you to be 'the guy' you were a couple of weeks ago, and the weeks that you were 'building' leading up to then. I didn't want to hear that you were at fault beyond the party. Although I do appreciate the apology. I wanted/needed you to address the distancing. To let me know that you are there for me. For us. That unhealthy behaviour isn't acceptable despite the trigger. That is why I am sad. I am sad because I was allowed to use my old coping techniques. It ruined our week. 

I am well aware it isn't up to me to decide how things are dealt with in this house.  How I am dealt with.  I am also aware that my distancing and pushing took the wind from your sails as well. 

I am sad because today I wanted this to be a distant memory and to have a fresh start.
I was hoping today would bring us back to where we were building again. I am sad because I miss us. The newer us...ya know from the past couple of months. I miss wanting to cuddle in bed.  I miss falling asleep on your lap, ( urgh even if there is a whistle in the 'show' you are watching on tv).  I miss the teasing.  I miss the hand on my bum when you roll over.  I know you have tried.  I miss wanting that.  I miss our connection.

While this may appear to be a 'dump' on Barney letter, that isn't my intent.  I really just wanted you to know how I feel.  I suppose to our husbands it is so perplexing how all of these emotions push us down in such a short span of time.  In our minds we know it is merely a blip in time, but in our hearts that time seems like forever.  I can't explain how my emotions have changed where ordinary just isn't tolerable anymore.  Or maybe ordinary has changed for me?

 I do recognize that we have changed so much.  I know this has been just as difficult for you as it has been for me, if not more so.  I really do appreciate all that you have done and accomplished within our dynamic

You have done this so much, and I not only thank you but love you for it.

 I will conclude with this discovery I made about the past few days- Distancing can look like a temper tantrum, and most likely it was at the start this time.  However as time passes, this time, I am not being stubborn, I'm just sad.

Ooops I guess I should explain after reading my first few comments.  This is a letter, THE letter I actually wrote to Barney.  I didn't really think how it would come across.  I am not sad or depressed.  I was merely telling him how the situations over the past few days have left me feeling where ttwd and our relationship within its borders made me feel.  Also that being said, sad is a relative term.  Where this summer I had the Summer of Suckiness, this is just surface sad if you will? 
Okay on with the show.....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You Whooooooooo? Yeah you!

A year ago I sat here and wrote my very first Love Our Lurkers post.  I felt absolutely ridiculous in some ways for doing it.  After all I had only been blogging for 7 weeks at that point.  I suppose the good thing was I remembered quite easily what it was like to be a lurker.  Here I sit a year later and I wonder what I can add or say differently.

Obviously I was once like you.  I read blogs.  I felt I knew everyone here, but no one knew me.  At the time ( I was a lurker) I was not in a ttwd relationship, in fact my husband didn't even know this corner of cyberspace existed let alone Dd.  I hadn't ever read a Love Our Lurkers post before writing my own.  That is how new I was! I barely knew how to insert pictures into posts.  In fact the fact that I had started to blog blows my mind still to this day.  Sorry I am getting ahead of myself or off topic.

Back to my lurking days....

 I laughed along with others, but no one heard me.  I cried with them, but no one saw.  I had thoughts that no one knew.  Why?  Because I thought I didn't fit in.  I knew them, but they didn't know me.  Why would they want to hear what I had to say? 

One day, I was so moved by Stormy's post, I had to say something.  You know what?  I had a warm welcome from her.  Not a dismissive comment in the least.  A little later Lillie, ( who sadly no longer blogs) had a funny story that I could relate to, and so I commented again.  Again another warm welcome.

The list goes on and on after that.  After delurking I began to believe that maybe having a relationship with my husband like those here do might actually be possible.  I began to reach out to a few, 'behind' the scenes.  I have to tell you I have managed to develop some spectacular friendships all because I took a breath and pressed comment. 

Think of Love our Lurkers Day as an open invitation to a party.  I personally HATE pressure and arbitrary timelines, so if today is not your day, that is okay.  Maybe tomorrow or next week.  Maybe in an email?  I can tell you I have never EVER regretted becoming part of this community.

Not a Dder/ttwder?  That doesn't matter.  We have plenty of those people in this community too.  A different perspective and point of view is always most welcome and often challenges in ways we need.

I was once like you.  Standing outside, looking in.  Perhaps walking by the same place over and over again, like taking an evening stroll over the holidays and seeing through the window a warm party taking place.

A passer by invites you in, but you are unsure.  They all seem to know each other so well.  Will my presence interrupt the party?  Will I stand out? What will they think of me?  Am I dressed appropriately? 
I am from a fairly large family.  When my older brother and sister were in high school there were borders at the schools they attended.  Often those kids couldn't go home for the holidays.  There was always room for one more at our house.  " Another potato in the pot" is what my Mom always says.  This community is no different.
( or ya know another beer in the fondue pot)


So come on in!  We don't expect you to be like them....(although you can be if you want to)

But we'd hope maybe you wouldn't feel like you have to be this either....
This day has been dedicated to you because we WANT you to come in....
The people at the party really are that nice.  I am not saying you have to  invest everything you have here in saying hello.  I will tell you that I have made some to the best friendship I have ever had in my life since I delurked.  It wasn't actually something I thought about the day I hit comment.  But is is something that happened.  I know, how is that possible Willie?  In the span of a lifetime a year is but a blip.  The best friendships of your life?  How lonely were you?  That is just it, I wasn't lonely.  I'm not lonely.  When you share as much as we do here even anonymously, you are able to cultivate friendships that you didn't think were possible.  I mean once someone knows you have given your husband the right to spank you for discipline, well talking about your son failing a class is easy!  LOL


 So take the first step, hit the comment button.  Because.....

( just a little note our friend Clara has finally after months and months of pressure decided to start a blog of her own.  Please stop by and say hello.  We as bloggers know how terrifying a first post can be.  Lurkers here's your chance to start at square one with someone and never to have lurked on their blog! Clara's Wish)

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Wear A Poppy


November 11 th is a day of Remembrance. We wear a poppy to remember those who have served, here is why:

The poem for those who have not read it.  Here in Canada it is on the lips of every  school aged child on Remembrance Day

In Flanders' Fields
In Flanders' fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The Larks, still bravely singing,fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below
We are the dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' Fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hand we throw
The torch,  be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders' fields
 Major John McCrae 1915

A Repost from Last Year.....

I am quite nervous about writing this particular post.  Why? -because  I am writing this post  to express my deepest gratitude and reverence to not only Veterans but People in the Armed Services.   I really want to convey my gratitude in a thoughtful way, and I am certainly no author.  I merely recount things in my daily life.  As this topic is of the utmost importance to me, I will give it my best shot.

I would like to tell you a little about Barney’s father first.  Barney’s father was 27 years old when he began flying for the RAF during WWII.  He flew Lancasters.  He never saw combat as he became a flight instructor in England during the war- he did watch as many of his friends and 'students' leave on missions only to never return.  His only mission  was after the war dropping supplies over The Netherlands. For this he was grateful.  

Mr. Rubble had numerous photos of his time during the war and even kept his flight manifest.  There was one photo he had that was professionally taken  of him in his uniform and an unidentified woman in a uniform.  No one knew who she was, and no one ever asked him.  He apparently was quite the ‘player’ back in the day, so everyone assumed she just was another girlfriend.

In his later years Mr. Rubble was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  He was quite on in life when this happened so it didn’t take ‘hold’ very quickly.  That being said, he seemed to relive stories from his past more vividly then he did before.  One story that he seemed to relive as he told was of the mysterious woman in the photo.  No one asked, but one day he just started speaking through tears.  It turns out the woman’s name was Rosie.  He met her during the war.  They fell in love and became engaged.  The photo was taken so it could be sent back to Canada to show his family his fiancĂ©. It was never sent.  She worked in an ammunition's factory in Scotland.  It was bombed on her shift.  She was killed.    

Mr. Rubble’s mother had 5 sons.  All of them left Canada to go and fight throughout various locations in Europe.  As a mother of 3 boys I can not imagine what those years must have been like for her.  She was so very fortunate, where a great deal of other mothers were not- every single one of her sons came home to her.

I grew up in an Air Force town.   I went to school with children who’s parents were in The Forces.  I babysat for people who were in The Forces. My uncle and my cousin both served in the Canadian Air Force.  I have to drive through a Canadian Armed Forces base to get ‘home’, and I see the yellow ribbons attached to every sign post on the highway when another one of our soldiers is killed.  I have driven on the Canadian Highway of Heroes in Ontario, ( see explanation and video below), and although I have never actually been there when they bring a fallen soldier home and down the highway, I cried driving on it anyway.  I have been to the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands and stood by the graves of fallen soldiers who never made it home, even in death.

What I haven’t done is explain to my children why Daddy is missing their birthday.  Why he seemed different since he came home- or why he isn’t coming home.  I haven’t waited to hear if my husband is leaving us.  I haven’t had sleepless nights wondering if my husband is safe, warm, lonely, hurt.  For all you wives out there who have, I thank you for your sacrifice- whether your husband wears a Canadian Flag on his uniform, or an American Flag, or any one of our Allies’ flags- I thank you for your sacrifice.

For the men/women who do what you do to keep our world safe, I thank you.  I thank the Canadian Soldier past and present.  My gratitude is equally extended to the American Soldier.  I express my thanks to all of our allies that leave their families so that my family will remain safe.

My children are huge history buffs.  We discuss war and conflict, past and present.  They have been to the Canadian War museum and know a great deal about the artifacts within its walls.  Yes they play their Playstation Call of Duty game, but we make sure to discuss real life and the game.-having conversations, which they initiate, about how they couldn’t possibly imagine doing this in real life.  They have a great respect for those who Serve.  That is what we do as parents.  We teach our boys that they have their freedom because of people who Serve and sacrifice for us.  We ‘can’t imagine doing it in real life’, but thank God there are men and women out there that do.

Thank You .

Additional info
Highway of Heroes
A Highway of Heroes reassurance marker with a red poppy flower in place of a number. Above that is the text Highway of Heroes, and below it SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.
On August 24, 2007, the MTO announced that the stretch of Highway 401 between Glen Miller Road in Trenton and the intersection of the Don Valley Parkway and Highway 404 in Toronto would bear the additional name Highway of Heroes, in honour of Canadian soldiers who have died,[116] though Highway 401 in its entirety remains designated as the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway.[117] This length of the highway is often travelled by a convoy of vehicles carrying a dead soldier's body, with his or her family, from CFB Trenton ( Canadian Forces Base Trenton)  to the coroner's office at the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto. Since 2002, when the first dead Canadian soldiers were returned from Afghanistan, crowds have lined the overpasses to pay their respects as convoys pass.[118]

Monday, November 4, 2013

Explaining TTWD with Toys and Games

No not that kind. Sorry if you are disappointed. Maybe another time though. Last month marked a year that I asked my husband if he would consider a ttwd/Dd relationship. Contrary to what many believed I really had NO vision in my head as to what ttwd would look like in our home. I honestly couldn't imagine it.

Barney wasn't an alpha male that I had emasculated over the years, ( okay maybe the second part is true, but he did not change). We were, ( or so I thought) past the time where kids made us exhausted and we were taking things out on each other. (Boy oh boy how you women with little kids handle ttwd... well my hats off to you. I remember once many years ago being so frustrated with Barney I thew and apple out our kitchen window at him. It crashed to the ground at his heel as he was walking away. Our neighbour just stood there with his chin on the ground. YUP! I did that. But those days were behind us too). So what exactly did I want to achieve with ttwd you ask? I wanted to no longer feel like wallpaper. I wanted to WANT to spend time with my husband on a deeper level. Don't get me wrong we had/have a very active social life, ( shocked? lol) but that was the issue. We would go out and never see each other even at the same party. I would seek my happiness from the company of others. Sure we had fun together, but there was just something missing.

The fact that you can 'walk' over your husband takes something away from your relationship. I mean at the end of the day no one feels great. I was unhappy for a long time. I wouldn't say anything, as I thought I was being selfish. Who wouldn't want my life? We had 3 beautiful, healthy boys ( and sadly...beautiful is kind of the truth..LOL ) I was able to stay at home and not work. My husband was/is a kind, patient man who indulges me to almost no end. AND he always said he was the lucky one. So why would I be sad ? Because I had created a life that I didn't want. That wasn't me. Not my family life. My life with my husband.

I said I didn't cuddle, because it was too hot, or his arm seemed so heavy draped across me. I didn't hold hands walking because he always walked so slow. I didn't want birthday cards or presents because they were a waste of money. I didn't want flowers for the same reason. But you know what? All of these things were BOGUS! I didn't want any of them, because to me longing was less painful than disappointment. I gave him an out, but emotionally I gave me an out too. I knew from experience that he would forget more often than remember, or I would get a birthday card with a couple of talking parrots wearing sombreros on it, instead of a heartfelt one I desired. So making proclamations about not needing these things left no room for expectations or anticipations. Therefore no pain.

What I did was worse. I told my husband NOT to pay attention to me. He was trapped too. Damned if he did damned if he didn't. Ttwd has changed all of that. I may have felt like wallpaper before, but in part I was the one who hung it.

As many of you know, it hasn't been an easy ride for us. Of course in all honesty I doubt it is for many. Barney is not naturally dominant, and as a friend once suggested, I probably have "little dog syndrome ". I am the youngest of many by a lot of years, the " I can do it" motto has been ingrained deep in my Psyche . It is very difficult to trust someone else with things when you are a self professed perfectionist. And yet, letting go is so freeing.

When we first started on our adventure many people would comment for me to stop over thinking things. Well, the truth of the matter was/is that isn't in me either. That is who I am, and it is never going to change. It actually isn't a weakness but a strength. I need to examine things from every angle, from both sides, in order to figure out why it happened and what it actually means TO me. How to avoid it from happening again if possible.

As many of you know, with communication comes a great deal of issues. LOL. The ' avoid it from happening again' takes many more crashes and burns before that can actually come to fruition. I tease all the time, that men are ROTE memory learners. Barney would agree. We have had to endure, more times than not the same painful conversations. Some times I wanted to pull my hair out ! And if Barney had excess to spare, I'm sure he'd feel the same way too.

The most difficult thing for us to do was to keep getting back up again and dust ourselves off. Try again. Try again. Try again. Why? Because for ME it was working. I was becoming who I always was inside. I was now allowing Barney to love me the way he has always wanted but was too afraid to. Don't get me wrong he has had a lot to over come in this past year too.

I have come to see our ttwd like a Spirograph set. When I asked Barney if he would be willing I handed him the box.

At first we picked the small round circle. Things seemed great, we were making a picture pretty quickly. But after the initial changes happened it was like we chose the triangular piece. Jolt ourselves around. It wasn't pleasant. I /we have often felt like we were constantly walking around with a neck brace on from the whiplash we were encountering.

Here is the thing, a year later we have lifted the frame away from the paper and are able to see that while we were jolting around in our Spirograph set, changing pen colours as we went, we have ended up making a beautiful picture. We are adding so much depth to our little piece of art.

As the self professed Poster child of Dysfunction in TTWD, I want to share something with you. I was explaining to a sister in dysfunction something in an analogy, ( I know another shock). I began a little while ago seeing my adventure in ttwd as a game of Trivial Pursuit, ( yes yes, we know it isn't ACTUALLY a game). When some people start out they manage to roll high numbers on the die. They speed around the board collecting some pie pieces right away. Maybe the Arts and Entertainment one. We were rolling ones and twos.

We would land on the triangle square where we had an opportunity to 'get' a pie piece, but often we would mess up on the answer and have to wait for another turn. No pie piece for us. This happened time and time again. What we didn't realize is that we were learning more and more about the subject even if we were getting the answers wrong. Eventually our pie pieces started to fill our little circle. Does this make us 'better' than the others that sped around the board? NOPE. Just different.

We have mostly learned how to effectively communicate with each other. Mostly. The deeper you go in ttwd the meaning behind communication changes. It is difficult to explain if you haven't experienced it yet, but trust me. It changes and each 'level' has its own challenges in its own right. What we have discovered is that we both needed to learn what the other person needed from us in order to understand each other. Essentially we needed to make up our own 'language'.

So much has happened here in the last 6 or 8 weeks.  I should probably write a post about that, but I am going to end with what I have learned  on this little adventure we have taken so far:

  • Stubbornness has no place in ttwd or I suppose any relationship, unless of course you use it for good like wanting to make it work.  I have learned that even if he is the reason in my mind why we are in a rough spot if we need to talk about it it doesn't matter who starts the conversation.  Which brings me to my next discovery
  • I am, as most women are, the key communicator in our relationship, that is my strength.  I must use it.  I may WANT him to strike up the conversation but 6 times out of 10 he's not going to.  That being said, did you notice I said 6 times?  Yup after almost a year of me initiating things 40% of the time now Barney does!!!

  • Submission is hard as we all know, but being submissive with what he asks for isn't always as challenging as being submissive for what he wishes or might like.  Let me explain.  I don't have many rules.  I don't have to get out of bed when I am done reading and my eyes are drooping to tell Barney I am going to sleep.  I could just turn over, turn off the light and be done with it.  But I haul my butt out of bed, stumble downstairs and kiss him good night telling him I'm going to sleep now.  A simple thing not really worth calling submission is it?  No?  But if you are trying to help your husband along, these are the little voices you need to listen to.  ( okay that sounded way to all knowing for my liking) But I'm sure if you examine your days there are plenty of times where there are things you 'know' you should do, but because he hasn't asked you've excused yourself.  I know I do/have.
  • I have to say when he does something I like,no matter how embarrassing it will make me feel at the time.  If my heart flutters when he says "Good girl"  I have to tell him that.  If he spanked me the day before and I feel better now, I have to tell him that.  Positive reinforcement goes a long way. I learned this from another blogger who's husband is an UBER HOH and you wouldn't think she would have ever uttered, " train him like a puppy".  
  • Talking about how to effectively 'punish' you is not being controlling.  He doesn't have to listen to your suggestions, and trust me some times it takes more than one discussion about it, ( rote memory remember?).  As Barney said " if it's not working what's the point? ".  When we discussed again how to make a punishment spanking more 'memorable' than a r/a, I had to be really honest and tell him what I didn't like.  Sounds silly because I was setting myself up for embarrassment and discomfort, but it made a huge difference for BOTH of us.

  • Accept the small rules as if there were HUGE ones.  These are important to him, and the other ones will follow. 

  •  My need for this thing we do is just that a NEED, not a desire.  It has helped our marriage so much.  We have discovered ourselves and strengthened our relationship.  Often during our adventure's first 8 months I would blame myself for this need.  We are both comfortable in the fact that this is who we need to be to be us.  I AM NOT A BURDEN.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY NEED...and now more importantly, MY need is OUR need.

Barney has learned a few things too

  • Chase her down.  LOL.  Yup  don't let her close herself off.  But more recently that processing is not the same as distancing

  • He is also accepting more and more the whys of why I am acting a certain way ( ie that he may have been the cause) isn't always important.  It is how my reaction is affecting our family that is.  His is usually unintentional.  Mine perhaps not.

  • He is my husband and the head of our house, but he doesn't have to have all the answers.  WE are a partnership in this marriage in the sense that we are here for each other.  Insecurities are part of life, as long as he doesn't show it when I am OTK, any other time I am here for him to listen.  He doesn't have to fix things all on his own.  I am still his WIFE and together we will try and figure things out.   This was a HUGE obstacle we had to overcome.  He somehow managed to think that he couldn't come to me when he was confused. He was supposed to be all knowing.
  • and perhaps the biggest one, my thoughts and feelings about a situation are not meant to be an attack.  He once said to me, " I don't care how you say it, just get it out.  We will worry about it later, (the tone)"  For a while there he forgot about that, and would cut me off mid sentence because I was getting too excited.  That closed me up for good. Ended the conversation.   He now lets me go, and honestly I catch myself before he has to say anything about my attitude or tone. 

We have had our share of stumbles in our adventure this far.  I now can sleep easy knowing that even though we are going to still experience stumbling blocks, I have faith that they too will be building blocks in the future.  We are both committed to making the bad times a moment not a mountain in our relationship.  I can't tell you how that relieves so much anxiety that used to take up too much of my head and heart.  

Basically why I wanted to share this pontificating post with you was for those of you who still struggle. Whose husbands you don't think will 'ever get it'.  If you don't blog, write down some of the things your husband says to you in a day.  Read them out loud.  I guarantee you that if you remove the body language and tone, if you think he isn't all ALPHA male, you will see that he is ask/telling just like HoHs you read about.  If you were to meet Barney there is NO WAY in H_LL you would pick him for an HOH but sometimes in print he comes off that way.  I'm sure your husbands would too.  That is just their way.

Anyway, I believe for the most part if ttwd is what you NEED you will find a way to make it work.  It isn't easy, to get your pie pieces for your game piece, but sitting here looking back, I wouldn't trade one single tear or stumble over the past year.  That is the honest to God truth.