Wednesday, April 24, 2013

She's NOT a Child: HoH PoV

First, I want to thank all that contributed to this post. HoH's and TiH alike have been very forthcoming and it's really helping me put together a clearer picture. Ttwd isn't easy and it takes a lot of bravery to share your innermost thoughts on such an intimate topic.

My last post, I'm NOT a Child, received quite a few comments from other TiH about how they felt about their relationships and how they don't feel as though they are just another child that has to be dealt with. There is great wisdom in their words and, if you haven't already, you should go back and read the comments. It was an eye opener for me. Hubby did not have the same take on it. He was still feeling the same way about it so I decided on a different course of action. I set out to ask HoH's their points of view. If there is anything a man can understand, it's another man, right?

So I wrote an email and sent it out. If you didn't get one, don't worry. It's not because I skipped you. It's either that I sent one but never got answered, or I forgot. Please, by all means, leave your answers to these questions in the comments. I want to get as full a picture as I can...for Hubby's sake.

Here's the email:

Hubby and I are at a strange point in our relationship. He feels that punishing me would be too much like treating me like I'm another child in our house. I wrote a blog post on Monday about the DD relationship and how I am not a child, even though I get spanked, etc. I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of great answers from all my fellow TiHers. Hubby read everything, but is still not really convinced. I was wondering if your HoH would be willing to answer a few questions to help out my HoH. I would also like to take all the answers I get and compile them into a post for my blog. Would that be okay?
Here are the questions (I stole them from my last blog post):
1. How do you make sense of your DD/ttwd arrangement without feeling like your TiH is a child?
2. Between the necessity to warn, scold, and spank, how is this not a parent/child relationship?
3. If you have children that are still at home and of disciplinary age, how do you separate your feelings when your TiH does something punishable vs. your child?
4. Do you feel like a father figure to your TiH when you have to warn, scold, spank, or otherwise discipline?
5. If you struggled with the same problem as Hubby, how did you get over it?
Thanks so much for your help! I think it will help Hubby to hear a POV from the men. If you can think of any other advice, please feel free to add it. Also, if you think of an HoH that could answer this, please feel free to forward this email to them.
Thanks so much!
The answers came in from all over, so I will color code them for you.
1.  How do you make sense of your DD/ttwd arrangement without feeling like your TiH is a child?
There is an agreement between two adults, where a child has no voice in the matter. And if it is done as a punishment ( as you know we haven't done that very often) it is still a reconnection between to adults to re-establish boundaries.  Again brought to the husband from the wife, in both our cases.  Whereas when you punish a child it is merely a deterrent for future behaviours, and it is a closure of an issue or bone of contention ( clean slate) between a husband and wife.  ~ Barney 
Originally, with great difficulty, but it is only a perception.  We like to think that as we get older we lose our childish behaviours, but in reality they become ingrained in our adult lives as a "given right".  An example:  We went to school there was always a group of kids that felt entitled, because of money, looks, etc.  this is a childish behaviour we hope they would grow out of, and today we have a coffee chop in town and there is two tables in the centre and an "elite" (in their minds) group of people consider them their tables, everyone subtly knows to side around the outside ring.   Now it is considered a given that they are entitled and the rest of us are not - this is a childish way of behaving.  My beautiful wife, as much as she is a mature woman, can exhibit behaviours that are negative to her well being, to our marriage, etc… as her husband, and the leader in the family, I am the authority and decide what is acceptable and what is not.  ~ Ian (at Ian and Lillie's Place) 
There is nothing about the way we do dd that is parent/child like.  We've avoided that completely b/c to be honest, the very idea is creepy.  The fact that this requires consent between the two of us makes all the difference in the world. ~ Susie & MM 
We address adult issues that involve adult emotions.  We communicate as adults.  There's no sense of "teaching right from wrong" in our marriage as there would be in a parent/child dynamic.  My wife already knows right from wrong when it comes to morals, ethics, legal matters, etc., as do I.  Our dynamic is about doing what's best for the overall safety and well-being of the family and working toward the goals we both have for the family as a whole.  Honestly it's nothing like a parent/child dynamic at all, but I think someone hesitant to start the lifestyle or a naysayer wouldn't completely understand that until they actually experience and FEEL the lifestyle after practicing it themselves. ~ Clint & Chelsea
2. Between the necessity to warn, scold, and spank, how is this not a parent/child relationship?
When you 'warn or scold ' your wife, it is more of a ' this is going to be detrimental to our relationship and dynamic' as opposed to , this is not what society accepts,or proper behaviour  which is why we do this for our children.  We are raising our children to face the world, we are trying to grow as a couple in a way that has us respectful towards each other.  Between a husband and wife it is how words make us feel, whereas when we 'correct' our children it is societal. In all honesty (Wilma speaking now) we as women KNOW how to behave, but our emotions run free with our husbands, both in a negative and a positive way.  But if we do that in a way that is detrimental to our relationship, we need you to give us pause.  ~ Barney 
In my opinion only, warning and scolding are a part of modern marriages in some ways.  Scolding might come in the form of the silent treatment, or refusal to engage in things that interest your spouse, holding back sex, etc.  Many of these ways of relating anger or disappointment are very detrimental to a marriage.   If you have a consensual agreement to use tools like spanking to work through problems, that is so much different than the relationship between a parent with children.  ~ Ian  
Warning and scolding only have a place when we are tackling something new--it comes into play when an old habit breaks loose and I need some help to overcome it.  We've tackled bunches of these over the past two years but again, it's not like talking down to a child.  It is about pointing out to me when I'm doing something, b/c it is so ingrained that I usually don't realize it.  Once I realize it, it becomes my responsibility to tackle it and really give it my best effort.  When I won't or don't..that's when spanking becomes a harsh reality. ~ Susie & MM 
Warnings, "scoldings" (although I wouldn't say I ever "scold" my wife - we simply discuss matters), and spankings all result from some sort of bending or breaking of consensually agreed upon rules for the marriage.  With a parent/child dynamic, the child doesn't necessarily understand or consent/agree to the rules the parent puts in place for them.  In a DD marriage, both spouses discuss and agree to rules, fully understanding what will happen if they're broken.  That's the biggest difference.  And, as I briefly touched on in my answer to the first question, the emotions are much more sophisticated, complex, and "adult", and the issues/actions/behaviors being addressed are much more mature, intricate and "adult" as well.  ~ Clint & Chelsea
3. If you have children that are still at home and of disciplinary age, how do you separate your feelings when your TiH does something punishable vs. your child?
When Wilma is punished in her case it is more of a clean slate mind set.  She has regret for her actions.  Punishment is more that for her and for me, so we can move on.  There isn't a feeling of closure when we punish our children.  I am more confident in punishing my wife, because she has asked me to, and I trust that this works for her, than I am with punishing my children. ~ Barney

4. Do you feel like a father figure to your TiH when you have to warn, scold, spank, or otherwise discipline?
No absolutely not.  I have never really thought about it.  Again because she brought this to me and she doesn't feel that way either.  To her this is a symbol of my strength and confidence, and perhaps they did see that in their fathers, but this isn't what it is about to HER ,therefore it isn't to me. ~ Barney 
I will admit that I always felt like I should be filling the role of a father figure in my family, and that began from the time I knew that I wanted to marry Lillie and be a family.  It was a very surprising realization, because I was aware that I wanted to protect her, but she wouldn't let me be that person in the marriage.  I was a power struggle for years and years.  Dd was the beginning of a new life.   When I was finally able to get past that idea that I was "playing" at being a father to my wife, and see it as a consensual leadership role, a responsibility,  it felt very natural, as though I finally had the ability to do what I was meant to do.  Actually, and I think this is true of a lot of non dd marriages, the husband is doing it anyway, as  I did before, I just didn't have a mechanism to deal with some of the things that I had to protect her from.  Imagine being an authority figure or a parent with no way to discipline.  ~ Ian 
He says not and there have been times that I have felt stupid for needing his help with things but one of the ways we try to stay away from it is by avoiding things that feel childish to us (and that doesn't mean that it feels that way for others.)  No corner time (he tried it--train wreck), no writing lines or essays or anything like that.   If we had children, we would likely not spank so even that gets separated out as an adult activity.  ~ Susie & MM 
No, I don't.  I'm not her dad, I'm her husband.  I feel like an equal partner doing my part in making the marriage and home as safe, secure, stable, happy, and harmonious as possible.  Again, I don't punish my wife to teach her right from wrong.  She already knows right from wrong.  I punish to keep the direction of our marriage and family in line with the long-term goals we both envision for our future. ~ Clint & Chelsea
5. If you struggled with the same problem as Hubby, how did you get over it?
No I don't see Wilma as a child, but I can understand how that can be confusing.  I think I still see us as a partnership.  I don't see me as superior to Wilma.  She has asked for my help and this is something I can do for her, which in turn is for us. ~ Barney 
I did struggle to become comfortable with the idea in the beginning.  However, that struggle was short lived because  the benefits of the lifestyle became apparent, and so I gradually put more faith into the process and it just grew into what we have.   I would say, give it a chance.  Look at it this way:  My wife loves to receive flowers from me.  When I make the effort, it has an obvious effect on her.  So, I do it because she needs those little things.  Most men do similar things in one way or another, and even if you can't see what the benefit is in this lifestyle in the beginning, if she needs it, if she is asking for it, you owe it to her to give it your best effort.  I was really unsure when I got the first help from Mick.  It seemed wrong somehow, but I made the decision to give my wife what she needed and now looking back, it was the best thing we ever did for our marriage.  ~ Ian 
I think at the core of our Dd and seeing it on adult terms is the reality that each of us are responsible adults.  Every couple is different and every woman needs different things.  My husband does not micromanage, nor would he except in extreme circumstances.  There are no chore lists, no things to get done and only a handful of rules.  We are both expected to keep our ends of the bargain in taking care of our lives and he simply wouldn't be comfortable with spanking me for not getting work done. you know, I have the opposite problem.  Our Dd focuses on my emotional needs, helping me stay centered.  When I start straying from that center I get feisty and disrespectful.  That's the stuff that I get spanked for and it brings me back around.  I will disobey him sometimes or blatantly go against his wishes and that is almost always about grabbing for control.  He cracks down on that stuff like a crazy man...and so he should.  All that to say that we have found the core of why we need this, what it works for.  As each couple does that, I think they find how to do all of this in a very adult way and as you do, I hope some of the worries of your husband disappear.  This is all about what the two of us/the two of YOU need.  It takes a long time to figure that out.  We have to do our parts in improving on the things that they decided they really care about.  To spank for the same thing over and over is very defeating and no man wants to do it.  For us that has taken a lot of communication as I try to tell him how I'm working at something and he continues to use the physical discipline to reinforce things till I conquer a problem.  The other kinds of spankings--the ones that are about helping me get centered...they aren't going away and everything about them is adult like for us.  ~ Susie & MM 
Before we began domestic discipline I (Chelsea) wondered this question a lot- how is this NOT treating me like a child, and how does this not make him like a father figure? However, once we tried and experienced it, I realized it was absolutely nothing like a parent/child relationship. We've now been practicing domestic discipline for a long time and I never once have felt any differently towards my husband. He's my husband, and that feeling has never changed. So, this question is hard for me to answer because there really was nothing for me to move past. Once we began practicing, the feeling to me instantly did not feel like a father/child one. ~ Clint & Chelsea
I was very impressed by the variety of answers. This once again goes to show that ttwd is unique to every couple. No one will have the same take, but we all understand our relationship as it is.

Thank you everyone for your input! Again, if you would like to add to this, please leave a comment, with the question number you are responding to. Thanks so much!



  1. Spanking, for us, is strictly within the realm of intimate event between man and woman, husband and wife. We didn't experience spanking as a form of discipline as kids, and we don't use it as a form of discipline for our own kids.

    Beyond that distinction though, the difference stems from the fact that it is "us" and it's our that is between two adults. The issues that we deal with are very different from the issues that we deal with with our children. And, because it's "us" - a married couple who are in love and attracted to each other...there's always that zing or chemistry between us that never goes away...even if the situation is as far away from the bed room as you can get.

    When he has words with our kids, he speaks to them as a father to a child. His tone is a certain way with them, He gets down on their level to talk, it's about teaching them, etc.

    When Jake has words with me about something...even if it's just some everyday thing like the recycling...there's NO doubt that it's as a man expressing his displeasure to his woman. He might crowd into my personal space, tilt my chin up to look at him, hold my arms, make his voice low for my ears only...his tone and demeanor are just totally different when it's between us. The situation itself isn't sexual...but because it's "us" there's always that tension.

    I don't like being in trouble one bit, but even when I am I can appreciate how every discipline or lecture situation fuels the dynamic. Whenever, however he exerts his dominance in his role as HoH, it reminds me of my submission to him and that makes me feel feminine and very much a woman...his woman;)

  2. Hey LM,

    Your previous post and email touched on the many things that we all struggle with, especially early on. You have received some wonderful responses to both and I hope they have helped you and your hubby. I've no doubt that this is also going to a tremendous help to others as well.

    I spoke to Rick about this and he said he has never seen it as me acting like a child and him having to act like a parent. In fact, the opposite. His struggle was more along the lines of she is an independent, responsible adult and more than capable of making her own decisions. What gives me the right to discipline/spank her?

    Interesting because where we sometimes feel 'needy' and that we are placing too much on our husband asking for this and may worry that they may look for someone who isn't so 'needy', Rick pointed out that they too worry that we may change our mind and want someone who isn't so dominant.


  3. Hi LM,
    These are always interesting exercises for Ian and I because I get to know what he is thinking - no matter how alarming it might be. :)
    I thought this was an interesting topic, because it is one that we have had people write to us about before. I remember a man who was really concerned with treating his wife like a child.
    As a parent, it seems as though they are worlds apart.
    I thought all the husbands, including my own, were very up front and honest in their answers.
    I would also like to say that I think Ian may have misrepresented himself as someone who lavishes flowers upon his so. ;) He sees them as a terrible waste of money, and they only show up on very special occasions.